Ovoid Jar and Cover


Chongzhen Period 1628–1644

This elegant ovoid jar with its flush-fitting domed cover was an innovative form that emerged in
the potter’s atelier in the 17th century. The shape

presented the artist with a splendid porcelain canvas which in this instance he has used

to showcase his remarkable skill in depicting nature.

The subject of nature has an enduring tradition in Chinese

painting and one senses in this artist’s skilful brushstrokes his sensitivity to the natural realm.

In rich shades of cobalt blue, the artist has decorated the jar with

a family of kingfishers; some are perched on a stem of bamboo amid

bushes of hibiscus and rose growing from rockwork while others hover above. A king- fisher on a branch of camellia decorates the cover.

Literati scholars, artists in their own right, dreamed of escaping the world of politics, intrigue and corruption during this turbulent time to live a secluded life amongst nature. Certainly some did, but most stayed closer to home, contenting them- selves with their collections of objects and porce- lains, many of which found their inspiration in the natural world.

h: 27.2cm 103⁄4in


高 :2 7 . 2 公 分 1 0 3⁄4 英 寸