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Jar with Dragon and Clouds Design

Jar with Dragon and Clouds Design

철화 백자 운룡무늬 호 (鐵畵白磁雲龍文壺)


Porcelain with underglaze iron

Diameter of base: 13.7 cm (5 3/8 in.); Overall: 34.7 cm (13 11/16 in.)

Leonard C. Hanna, Jr. Fund 1986.69


The dragon is believed to control the weather, a critical heavenly agent in premodern East Asia where the economy was based on agriculture. It is believed that the dragon endows a rightful ruler with a blessing of the appropriate amount of rain, a key for successful harvest. Thus, harsh weather conditions were often interpreted as the decline of heaven’s favor over a state. This explains why most dragon jars like this were not allowed to be used outside the royal court. It is highly likely that this jar contained a bouquet of peonies, the flower that symbolizes the state’s peace and prosperity.

See also
Korean Art
Korean Art
Type of artwork: 

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