Brief Introduction to Blue and White Jar with Cover and Famille Verte Design of Fish and Alga

Brief Introduction to Blue and White Jar with Cover and Famille Verte Design of Fish and Alga,Jiajing Period, Ming Dynasty

Blue and White Jar with Cover and Famille Verte Design of Fish and Alga, Jiajing Period, Ming Dynasty
In the past, scholars generally held that blue and white ceramics with famille verte designs were fired in Chenghua Period of Ming Dynasty. However, a blue and white bowl with famille verte design of lotus pond (Xuande Period) and a stem bowl were discovered in Sakya Monastery, Rikaze, Tibet in 1985. Two other blue and white dishes with the same famille verte designs were unearthed at the ruins of Jingdezhen Imperial Kiln in 1988. Consequently, it is concluded that blue and white ceramics with famille verte designs were first fired in Xuande Period.
In fact, it is not an essential point when this type of works of art originated. For instance, blue and white ceramics with famille verte designs produced in Chenghua period nearly reached an artistic standard unparalleled in history, and in a certain sense triggered the birth of “clashing colors”. Numerous official and private kilns in the subsequent generations tried to copy the craftsmanship of Chenghua period, but all failed to surpass. In my opinion, the artistic accomplishment, the philosophy of painting and the aesthetical faculties of individuals do not match the development of the times, and do not synchronize with the progress of craftsmanship. Even though countless calligraphers can excellently copy Lantingxu of Wang Xizhi, none of them became another Wang Xizhi. So, only one carpenter, Qi Baishi, became a great artist, and Qi Baishi’s words, “whoever learns from me will prosper and whoever copies me will perish”, has become a proverb.
During Jiajing Period, a revolution took place in the appearance and aesthetic appeal of blue and white ceramics with famille verte designs. Blue and white jars with cover and famille verte design of fish and alga produced in Jiajing Period might be poles apart. Some are inclined to be graceful with very plain and elegant blue and white design. The red fishes are not deliberately exaggerated. Some are rich and luxuriant with gaudy blue and white and green, yellow and red glazed design of alga. Red carps are realistically depicted on the jar in both styles. In one style, alga, waterweed and lotus dominate the whole picture with fishes swimming among them. In the other, in contrast, fishes are so exaggerated that they look somewhat clumsy with waterweed, lotus leaves and blossoms, alga and fallen blossoms scattered here and there, making the picture chaotic. Counting both styles, there are merely 7 authentic such wares existing throughout the world. In China, there is one in the Palace Museum, one in the National Museum of China, one in Capital Museum, and one in Tianjin Museum. Overseas, one is in the United Kingdom and the other two were hoarded by Zan De Lou.

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