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Chicken-head Ewer: Gallery Label - Current


Minneapolis Institute of Arts



Institution Minneapolis Institute of Arts
Inspired by Southern dynasties period (420-589) ceramics, northern green ware developed throughout the Northern Ch'i (550-577) and succeeding Sui dynasties (589-618). This magnificent chicken-headed ewer, for instance, with its dragon decor handles has its roots in the smaller chicken-head ewers of Eastern Chin (317-420). Northern Ch'i dynasty versions will generally have a taller, more slender body however and the simple bridge-shaped loop handle of the earlier style is replaced by a "double-section" annular loop handle. In contrast to the exaggerated dragon heads at the top of the handles, the chicken-head becomes smaller until by the high T'ang period (ca. 750) the chicken head disappears altogether and is replaced by a ewer with a short, cylindrical spout on the shoulder. From that time onward, vessels with bird head decor tended to feature more exotic creatures like pheasants, peacocks, and most frequently, the phoenix. Notable for its size, this vessel probably made in Hupeh or Shensi province is an outstanding example of the type.
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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