Chinese / Bowl / Ming period, Chenghua era, 1465-1487Chinese
Ming period, Chenghua era, 1465-1487

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Creator Nationality: Asian; Far East Asian; Chinese
Creator Name-CRT: Chinese
Title: Bowl
View: Full View
Creation Start Date: 1465
Creation End Date: 1487
Creation Date: Ming period, Chenghua era, 1465-1487
Creation Place: China, Jiangxi Province
Object Type: Decorative Arts and Utilitarian Objects
Classification Term: Ceramics
Materials and Techniques: Porcelain painted with underglaze cobalt blue (Jingdezhen ware)
Dimensions: H. 2 3/4 in. (7 cm); D. 6 in. (15.2 cm)
AMICA Contributor: Asia Society
Owner Location: New York, New York, USA
ID Number: 1979.172
Credit Line: Asia Society: The Mr. and Mrs. John D. Rockefeller 3rd Collection
Context: Noted for their refined bodies and elegant shapes, porcelains made during the reigns of the Xuande (1426-1435) and Chenghua (1465-1487) emperors of the Ming dynasty (1368-1644) are ranked among the finest examples of imperial Chinese wares. Many of the characteristics of 15th-century porcelains result from increased imperial interest in ceramics. Ceramic production during this time--which was the near-exclusive domain of the imperial Jingdezhen kilns in Jiangxi Province--is noted for the development and refinement of techniques for making and decorating wares, experimentation with shapes and designs, and the widespread use of reign marks (inscriptions that identify the name of the dynasty and the reign name of an emperor).

This bowl, with its thin porcelain body and precisely rendered design of stylized chrysanthemums, belongs to a category known as 'palace bowls,' which are regarded as among the most outstanding examples of the superb Chenghua porcelains. The decoration is exquisitely painted and covered with a thinner and smoother glaze than is typical of earlier porcelains. Such bowls, which have subtly rounded sides and small, high foot rims, appear to have been produced exclusively during the reign of the Chenghua emperor. A six-character reign mark is inscribed on the base.

As was true of imperial Xuande wares, the decoration on Chenghua wares such as this palace bowl was usually based on paintings by artists working at the Imperial Painting Academy. The flowers and scrolling leaves have been carefully placed both to cover the exterior and to suggest the organic movement and growth of actual plants. The flowers and leaves flow together in one continuous line, with no clear beginning or end to the pattern. This enhances the rounded shape of the bowl and continues the skillful use of the shape of the ceramic as a pictorial plane that was begun in the Xuande era.

Related Document Description: Asia Society. Handbook of the Mr. and Mrs. John D. Rockefeller 3rd Collection. New York: Asia Society, [1981], p. 77.
Related Document Description: Chinese Blue and White Porcelain, 14th to 19th Centuries. London: Oriental Ceramic Society, 1953, cat. no. 103.
AMICA ID: ASIA.1979.172
AMICA Library Year: 1999
Media Metadata Rights: Copyright, Asia Society

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