VIRTUAL COLLECTION OF ASIAN MASTERPIECES

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Bowl with Enamel Plum Flowers on Yellow Ground
Bowl with Enamel Plum Flowers on Yellow Ground
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Why this is a
Masterpiece

The bowl with a slightly flared mouth-rim, curved body and a foot ring is covered with a white glaze on the inside. A plum tree with its trunk extending horizontally and delicate red and white flowers are painted on the yellow ground on the outside. Inscribed on one side are two lines of a poem: "People say that the flowers are as white as snow, but do not know that they send forth fragrance." Above the poem is a seal impression of two characters, meaning "Heralding spring." Below it are two more seal impressions, the two characters in each of the two seals mean respectively "Longevity" and "Fresh fragrance." The four characters inscribed at the bottom in blue indicate that the bowl was made in the Yongzheng period. The decoration on this bowl followed the Kangxi method of applying enamel on a coloured ground and introduced the art of painting into it. The colour is brilliant and the picture exquisitely painted.

History of the Object
Porcelain ware decorated with enamel, first created in the late Kangxi period (1662-1722), was looked upon as highly valuable objects for use in the palace and highly valued by the successive emperors. In the Yongzheng reign, the emperor attached even more importance to the manufacture of such articles, which were often ordered by Imperial decrees and supervised by Prince Yi. The ware was fired in kilns built in the Imperial Workshops in the Forbidden City, the Garden of Perfect Brightness, and in Prince Yi's residence. The decoration was for the most part painted by court painters. The superbly executed decoration combined poetry, calligraphy and painting into one and brought the art of enamel porcelain to historical peak.

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Type
Decorative Art 
Materials
porcelain ware, decorated with enamel 
Measurements
Height: 6.2 cm, mouth diameter: 12 cm, foot diameter: 4.6 cm 
Creator name
Unknown 
Creator date
Unknown 
Where it was made
China 
Geography
China 
Time period
AD 18th century ~ AD 18th century 
Creation date
18th Century; Yongzheng reign (1723-1735), Qing Dynasty (1644-1911) 
Function
Bowl 
Acquisition
Collection of the Imperial Palace 
Copyright
 
Acknowledgements
 
Owner
Palace Museum, Beijing 
Museum
The Palace Museum 
Credit line
Palace Museum, Beijing 

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