Porcelain bowl hand painted blue and white

: 44004
H:5 x W:11.5 cm

Another extremely beautiful collectable.

This bowl is a modern 'reproduction' of an antique style that is known as the 'transitional period' porcelain (1619 - 1663), because it straddles the end of the Ming Dynasty and the beginning of the Manchu or Qing Dynasty.  The most salient feature of Transitional porcelain is the decoration.  Here repetitive motifs are eschewed in favour of more naturalistic themes of flowers and beasts, but above all, of figure subjects.

These figures are frequently narrative, abstracted from a drama, a romance or a novel. They are natural, informal and depicted in a painterly fashion.

This change in decorative style occured because after the death of the Emperor Wan Li, production of porcelain by Imperial factories ceased. Until it resumed in 1663, artists created work in private kilns, and so they were able to work more freely in their designs.

For more on this fascinating period, please see the Wikipedia page on  Kangxi Transitional porcelain.

According to Japanese scholar, Masahiko Sato, many of the motifs that are attributed to the Kangxi period originate far earlier, and can be seen on wares from the Xuande Reign. 

The fact is that porcelain motifs are used continuously for centuries.  These figurative paintings on porcelain are actually far earlier in origin.  Kangxi work depicted in his book Chinese Ceramics, a Short History, show a clear European Realist influence.

On the whole, Dr Sato seems a more authorative source than Wikipedia.  Research continues...


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