Dish with flowering trees

Historical period(s)
Qing dynasty, Yongzheng reign mark and period, 1723-1735
Porcelain with enamels over colorless clear glaze
Jingdezhen ware
H x W: 4.4 x 17.2 cm (1 3/4 x 6 3/4 in)
China, Jiangxi province, Jingdezhen
Credit Line
Purchase — Charles Lang Freer Endowment
Freer Gallery of Art
Accession Number
On View Location
Currently not on view
Ceramic, Vessel


China, flower, Guyuexuan ware, porcelain, Qing dynasty (1644 - 1911)

Yamanaka and Company, New York 1928 [1]

From 1928
Freer Gallery of Art, purchased from Yamanaka and Company, New York in 1928 [2]


[1] See Freer Gallery of Art Purchase List file, Collections Management Office.

[2] See note 1.

Previous Owner(s)

Yamanaka and Co.


Blossoming at the Chinese new year, camellia and flowering plum trees are popular symbols of spring renewal.  The verse on this dish likens the trees and their delicate blossoms to beautiful women: "Lightly made up and casting scattered shadows, they lean toward each other."  Inclusion of the poem on this porcelain dish encourages comparison of the decor with a painting bearing the Three Perfections (poetry, calligraphy, and painting).  The background of opaque color, however, exploits an aesthetic new to porcelain decoration of the early eighteenth century.  The use of strong color demonstrates too that ceramic decor remained an independent art form even though it was influenced by works on paper.

Published References
  • Li Hui-lin. Garden Flowers of China. Chronica Botanica, An International Biological and Agricultural Series, no. 19 New York. pl. 18.
  • Oriental Ceramics (Toyo Toji Taikan): The World's Great Collections. 12 vols., Tokyo. pl. 39.
  • Toki Zenshu. 32 vols., Tokyo, 1957 - 1963. pl. 31.
  • F. St. G. Spendlove. Ku Yueh Hsuan Imperial Porcelain. vol. 10, no. 5 New York, October 1938. p. 14.
  • Koyama Fujio. Ming and Ch'ing Ceramics: Their Collections in Japan, Europe and America. no. 151 Tokyo, November 1963. p. 27, fig. 5.
  • Hugh M. Moss. By Imperial Command: An Introduction to Ch'ing Imperial Painted Enamels. 2 vols., Hong Kong. pp. 75-77, pl. 59.
Collection Area(s)
Chinese Art
Web Resources
Google Cultural Institute
SI Usage Statement

Usage conditions apply

There are restrictions for re-using this image. For more information, visit the Smithsonian's Terms of Use page.