River Landscape Brushpot

青花採蓮圖筆筒 《翰苑文章》款

Early kangxi Period 1662–1675

The brushpot, resting on an unglazed chan- neled foot rim, has been painted in soft cobalt- blue tones and washes with a continuous river landscape. The scene is laid out laterally in the manner of handscroll painting.

The scene represents a scholarly idyll. On a broad terrace servants are preparing tea
for their masters, whose attention has been drawn away from their game of go by a flock of birds.

Serenely rowing towards them are two smiling ladies. They have been out gathering the lotus flowers growing in the waters and now they drift towards the pavilion past trees growing on rocky outcrops. The white undecorated area has been intentionally used to represent the expanse of the sky, in which mountains emerge from swirling clouds.

The unglazed channeled foot rim and the manner of painting rockwork with curved brush strokes, referred to as “Master of the Rocks”, are features that had been evolving since the mid 1640s . The incised anhua bands found at the rim and foot of the Chongzhen pieces now give way to underglaze blue bands in wave and cracked ice design.

Likewise, the base of the pot is now glazed as opposed to the flat unglazed bases

of the Chongzhen pieces. The base on this pot bears a four-character mark that reads Han Yuan Wen Zhang, “Scholarly Essays from the Garden of Writing Brushes”. Han Yuan part refers (almost certainly) to the Hanlin Academy.

We have not been able to identify this particular scene but often the scenes found on transitional pieces suggest narrative themes. It is likely that these depict episodes from stories or plays that circulated orally or were current in woodblock-illustrated books unfortunately now lost to us.

h: 16.5cm dia: 17.7cm

61⁄2in 7in


高 :1 6 . 5 公 分
直 徑 :1 7 . 7 公 分 7 英 寸