Historical period(s)
Ming dynasty, Xuande reign, 1426-1435
Porcelain with cobalt decoration under colorless glaze
Jingdezhen ware
H x W: 7 x 19.1 cm (2 3/4 x 7 1/2 in)
China, Jiangxi province, Jingdezhen
Credit Line
Purchase — Charles Lang Freer Endowment
Freer Gallery of Art
Accession Number
On View Location
Freer Gallery 13: Looking Out, Looking In: Art in Late Imperial China
Ceramic, Vessel


China, Jingdezhen ware, Ming dynasty (1368 - 1644), porcelain, WWII-era provenance, Xuande reign (1426 - 1435)
Provenance information is currently unavailable

Two women and their attendants stroll through a garden containing ornamental rocks and large plants; thick clouds half-conceal the adjacent building. Such landscapes are sometimes said to represent the mythical land of the Daoist immortals, but the story is likely to have a more specific topic and may illustrate a famous poem or drama. Today it is often impossible to recognize the theme. The painting has a slightly hazy quality that is typical of many Xuande wares and may result from the presence of air bubbles in the glaze.

Reign marks written in cobalt beneath the glaze, like the one seen here (see previous page), first began to be common on imperial wares in the Xuande period, but they were not mandatory. The style of the writing was based on the calligraphy of a favored Ming-court artist named Shen Du (1357-1434).

Published References
  • Ming Porcelains in the Freer Gallery of Art. Washington, 1953. p. 20, figs. 13-14.
Collection Area(s)
Chinese Art
Web Resources
Google Cultural Institute
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