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Large Vase with Polychrome Glazes

http://www.chinese.cn 00:00, October 5, 2009 The Palace Museum

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Large Vase with Polychrome Glazes
Large Vase with Polychrome Glazes

Qinglong reign (1736-1795), Qing dynasty

This vase has a flaring mouth-rim, a long neck and a melon-shaped body. On the two sides are handles in the shape of dragons. It is covered with sixteen colors of glaze. From the top to the bottom the glazes include gold, purple-ground and green-ground famille rose, Ge-style celadon, blue-and-white, turquoise green, flambé, "contending colors," Ge celadon, blue-and-white, green-ground famille rose, red-ground with gold painting, Guan-style celadon, and cloud blue with gold painting. They are separated by some stripes of gold glaze. The patterns on the vase include interlocking flowers and lotuses, medallion of flowers, palm-leaves, rectangular spirals and hooked chrysanthemums.

On the belly are twelve framed panels with polychrome paintings of buildings, landscapes, and historic stories. Some paintings have implied meanings. For instance, a flower with bat and ruyi scepter means that fortune and longevity will last forever. Others are blessings for good luck or peace.

This vase integrates techniques innovated over many dynasties. Since various glazes need different firing temperatures, the craftsmen had to re-fire this object many times. Despite the complex process, the vase has harmonious patterns and elegant colors. It displays sophisticated porcelain production techniques.


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