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Perfect porcelain in painting, poem, seal

FROM the view of ancient Chinese aesthetics, a perfect ink-wash painting must contain painting, a poem in calligraphy, and a stamp or seal. The poem and seal were usually related to the subject of the painting.

The beauty of the balance and combination of the three represent the overall artistic value of the painting.

This aesthetic tradition also influences other forms of art, including porcelain, especially in the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911).

Artists painted pictures and designs on porcelain of all kinds - vases, plates, bowls, cups - and also used enamel powder to decorate the fine white clay with poems and stamps. Firing in a kiln brought out different colors and patterns.

The use of enamel powder emerged in the Kangxi Reign (1661°?-1722) of the Qing Dynasty.

A porcelain bowl made in the Yongzheng Reign (1722-1735) of the Qing Dynasty contains all three elements to perfection, in addition to the exquisite translucent bowl itself. It is displayed in the Shanghai Museum.

It is decorated with a fresh and refined painting of green bamboo on one side - bamboo symbolizes modesty, integrity, longevity and durability.

The other side is decorated by a poem written by Lu Xiang in the Tang Dynasty (AD 618-907). The expert calligraphy is fluent and graceful.

Three red stamps painted on the bowl beside the poem all praise the virtues of bamboo.

The bowl's flared mouth and pure white color also give the exquisitely-made porcelain an elegant feel.

A box with blue characters is marked at the bottom of the bowl, a reign mark, indicating that the piece was made during the reign of the Yongzheng Emperor.


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