Prunus Vase (Meiping) with Blossoming Lotus

Prunus Vase (Meiping) with Blossoming Lotus

琺華蓮花紋梅瓶

late 1400s

Porcelain with polychrome glazes, Fahua ware

Diameter: 19 cm (7 1/2 in.); Overall: 37.5 cm (14 3/4 in.)

Bequest of John L. Severance 1942.716

Did you know?

The shoulders of the vase are decorated with ruyi-shaped clouds.

Description

According to 11th-century poet Zhou Dunyi, “all people like peonies, but I alone like the lotus because it emerges from the mud unstained.” The lotus is a symbol of purity and popular among Chinese literati and in Buddhism. This vase shows lotus flowers rising from the water’s surface depicted in elegant yet simple ripples.

Made in a kiln at Jingdezhen in southern China, this vase is an example of the fahua technique—decoration with raised outlines produced by squeezing clay from a tube onto the vase’s surface. Colors are applied to fill the outlines before firing.

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