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Artwork Details

stoneware with glaze, and slip
11 1/2 in x 12 1/2 in x 12 1/2 in (29.21 cm x 31.75 cm x 31.75 cm);13 in (33.02 cm);12 1/2 in (31.75 cm)
Museum purchase made possible by a gift from Martha and William Steen


Subject Matter:

This Yuan dynasty (1271-1368) cizhou (磁州) ware jar has paintings of a peony and a figure in a landscape. 

The design is made by first applying a white slip to the unfired pot and then adding a second slip in a dark chocolate brown. The floral patterns are incised through the dark slip, revealing the white beneath. Finally the entire vessel is coated with a clear glaze.

Cizhou (磁州) ware has been well known since the Song dynasty, with production lasting through the Qing, but it reached its zenith during the Jin and Yuan dynasties, where the forms were especially robust and the decoration finely executed. The ware is characterized by its high contrast dark brown to black and white wares, although over a dozen types of decoration can be used. These techniques include painting, sgraffito, incision, overglaze, underglaze, along with the application of multi-colored glazes. The variety of sub-styles results from being produced at a variety of northern kilns in Hebei, Henan, Shandong, and Shanxi. These everyday, if not somewhat plebian wares consisted primarily of large jars, vases, pillows, and bowls.

Physical Description:

A large stoneware jar with wide shoulders tapering to a narrow foot, with a wide mouth and very short neck. The jar is covered in a white slip with a painted dark brown calligraphic slip decoration of a peony flower on one side and a figure in a landscape on the other. Both are in mandorla shaped painted frames, surrounded by floral meander decoration. The jar is covered in a clear glaze.

Usage Rights:

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