Korean / Storage Jar / Choson period, c. mid-18th centuryKorean
Storage Jar
Choson period, c. mid-18th century

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Creator Nationality: Asian; Far East Asian; Korean
Creator Name-CRT: Korean
Title: Storage Jar
View: Full View
Creation Start Date: 1734
Creation End Date: 1766
Creation Date: Choson period, c. mid-18th century
Creation Place: Korea
Object Type: Decorative Arts and Utilitarian Objects
Classification Term: Ceramics
Materials and Techniques: Porcelain painted with underglaze cobalt blue
Dimensions: H. 17 1/2 in. (44.5 cm); D. 13 3/4 in. (34.9 cm)
AMICA Contributor: Asia Society
Owner Location: New York, New York, USA
ID Number: 1979.196
Credit Line: Asia Society: The Mr. and Mrs. John D. Rockefeller 3rd Collection
Rights: http://www.asiasociety.org
Context: Although Korean ceramics remain relatively unknown in the West, they have long been studied in East Asia. Two types of ceramics were prominent during the Choson period (1392-1912): stonewares known as Punch'ong wares, which at first were notable for their inlaid decoration; and porcelains, which were primarily decorated with underglaze cobalt blue, iron red, or iron brown. Some porcelains were not painted but merely covered with a transparent glaze. Cobalt blue was scarce in Korea, and supplies were often imported from China. The earliest blue-and-white wares were reserved for the use of the court, and it was not until the 18th century that this type of porcelain were distributed more widely in Korea.

This large blue-and-white storage jar, an 18th-century piece, is an elegant example of porcelain produced during the later Choson period. Its shape is somewhat irregular and a single composition flows over the entire surface. The scene of cranes flying among pine trees beneath a moonlit sky is unusual and not found in other 18th-century examples. The crane, pine, and the moon, as well as the lingzhi fungus painted at the base, are traditional symbols of longevity, conveying good wishes to the user. The naturalistic placement and rendering of these motifs gives then a narrative quality in keeping with the taste for genre paintings and vernacular themes found in other 18th-century Korean arts. It is possible that the development of the vernacular reflects the growth of a wealthy, sophisticated, and self-assured leisure class in Korea who helped to spur the development of the arts in the late Choson period. There are questions regarding the patrons of the vernacular style, and it is difficult to determine whether aristocrats and high-ranking bureaucrats or a wealthy merchant class predominated. The high quality of this ceramic indicates that it could have been used either at the court or in an upper-class home.

Related Document Description: Lee, Sherman E. Asian Art: Selections from the Collection of Mr. and Mrs. John D. Rockefeller 3rd--Part II. New York: Asia Society, 1975, pp. 94, 103.
Related Document Description: Mowry, Robert D. 'Korean Art in Western Collections: The Asia Society--The Mr. and Mrs. John D. Rockefeller 3rd Collection.' Korean Culture 3 (March 1982), pp. 1, 4-5.
Related Document Description: Rhee, Byung-chang. Masterpieces of Korean Art (Kankoku Bijutsu Shusen). Tokyo: Privately printed, 1978, p. 210.
Related Document Description: Treasures of Asian Art: Selections from the Mr. and Mrs. John D. Rockefeller 3rd Collection, The Asia Society, New York. Hong Kong and Singapore: Hong Kong Museum of Art and National Museum Singapore, 1993, pp. 142, 143.
Related Document Description: Treasures of Asian Art: Selections from the Mr. and Mrs. John D. Rockefeller 3rd Collection, The Asia Society, New York. Tokyo: Idemitsu Museum of Arts, 1992, pp. 91, 139.
Related Document Description: Asia Society. Handbook of the Mr. and Mrs. John D. Rockefeller 3rd Collection. New York: Asia Society, [1981], p. 87.
Related Document Description: Gompertz, G.St.G.M. 'Seventeen Centuries of Korean Pottery.' Apollo (August 1968, pp. 109-10.
Related Document Description: Griffing, Robert P., Jr. The Art of the Korean Potter: Silla, Koryo, Yi. New York: Asia Society, 1968, pp. 51, 53, 55, 128.
AMICA ID: ASIA.1979.196
AMICA Library Year: 1998
Media Metadata Rights: Copyright, Asia Society

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