Vase with landscape and poem

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Historical period(s)
Qing dynasty, Qianlong reign mark and period, 1736-1795
Porcelain with cobalt pigment under clear, colorless glaze, enamels over glaze
Jingdezhen ware
H x Diam: 24.4 x 13.3 cm (9 5/8 x 5 1/4 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, cobalt pigment, enamel, inscription, Jingdezhen ware, landscape, porcelain, Qianlong reign (1736 - 1796), Qing dynasty (1644 - 1911), standard script, WWII-era provenance, yangcai

To 1938
Tonying and Company, New York. [1]

From 1938
Freer Gallery of Art, purchased from Tonying and Company, New York. [2]


[1] Curatorial Remark 1 in the object record.

[2] See note 1.

Previous Owner(s) and Custodian(s)

Tonying and Company established 1902


The landscape scene with a poetic inscription that wraps around the vase resembles an unfurled literati handscroll painting; the verse mentions a figure gazing at the mist that floats over a 'glassy expanse of emerald water." More so than scroll painters, who often favored ink brushwork, artists painting on ceramics tended to emphasize coloristic effects. The calligraphy on this vase is written in standard script, distinct brushstrokes within each character; moreover, each word looks as if it were written inside an imaginary square grid. Most of the poems decorating imperial porcelains are executed in a more cursive style of calligraphy. Some scholars wonder, therefore, if this vase is an early twentieth-century copy of a porcelain from the Qianlong period.

Published References
  • Yang Enlin. Chinesische Porzellanmalerei im 17. und 18. Jahrhundert. Munich. ill. 10.
  • Archibald Gibson Wenley, Dr. John Alexander Pope. China. War Background Study, no. 20 Washington. pl. 25.
  • Oriental Ceramics: The World's Great Collections. 12 vols., Tokyo. vol. 10, pl. 40.
  • Geng Baochang. Ming Qing ci qi jian ding. Beijing. fig. 481.
  • Warren E. Cox. The Book of Pottery and Porcelain. 2 vols., New York. vol. 2: p. 594, pl. 167.
  • Grace Dunham Guest, Archibald Gibson Wenley. Annotated Outlines of the History of Chinese Arts. Washington, 1949. p. 10.
Collection Area(s)
Chinese Art
Web Resources
Google Cultural Institute
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