A blue and white Chinese Kangxi porcelain vase with fishing motif.
The decoration on this blue and white Kangxi porcelain vase is typical transitional style, evidenced by the gradation of the cobalt pigment, the freehand brush strokes, and the very smooth and even glaze.
The fishing motif has been a beloved theme for educated Chinese for generations. The fisherman is a metaphor for a righteous scholar in hermitage, free from official burdens.
The bamboo stalk on the neck further echos the scholarly pattern on the body. The bamboo is widely accepted as a symbol of rectitude and persistence: important qualities of a gentleman.
H 8.25 in. x Dm 3.75 in. (across the widest point)
A small invisible restoration along the top edge.
The long reign of Emperor Kangxi (1662-1722) was considered by many as the “golden era” for Qing porcelains, most notable are the blue and white wares. Under Emperor Kangxi, porcelains underwent enormous changes throughout a period of sixty years. The Emperor Kangxi’s aim was to regain standards of quality that had long been lost, and to employ ancient techniques in a new way. Blue and white porcelains move from the style of the later Transitional Period into the richness of the mid-Kangxi period, and were finally then followed by the more refined later porcelains which marked the beginning of the Yongzheng era.
The Qing kilns mainly used local materials. The cobalt came from Zhejiang, Jiangxi, Guangdong and Guangxi. Kangxi under glaze blue wares used cobalt from Zhejiang. The color is clear and bright and comes in many shades, creating a three-dimensional effect on the surface of the ware that makes the decoration especially lively. It was during the Emperor Kangxi’s reign that the Chinese blue and white wares achieved their climax both in terms of quality and quantity. All the aesthetic styles during the Ming Dynasty were reworked. Also, in Kangxi blue and white wares, the cobalt blue takes on a sapphire blue tone and is brighter and clearer compared to its Ming Dynasty predecessors.
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