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Title

Ewer: Gallery Label - Current

Author

Minneapolis Institute of Arts

Date

2002-05-21

Institution Minneapolis Institute of Arts
Blue-and-white porcelains directly modeled on Persian and Islamic metalware were produced as early as the Yung-lo era (1403-25) most likely as diplomatic gifts for central Asian and Middle Eastern rulers. This pear-shaped ewer with its elongated spout, delicate handle, and slender proportions, while later in date, is likewise inspired by Islamic metalwork. The underglaze blue-and-white decoration however is entirely in Chinese taste. The heart-shaped pictorial panels depict scholars and their attendants in landscape settings. The remaining decoration of flower blossoms, Taoist attributes, and border patterns are also typically Chinese and can be traced back to at least the fourteenth and early fifteenth centuries. The ewer is a good example of the adaptation of foreign objects to Chinese aesthetic preferences. Its base contains a four-character inscription in underglaze blue, which reads, "fu shou k'ang ning," an auspicious mark wishing happiness, longevity, peace, and tranquility for the owner.
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Type: Commentary, Gallery Label - Current
Source: Minneapolis Institute of Arts
Rights: Copyright Minneapolis Institute of Arts
Added to Site: November 21, 2009