Description Confrontations between tigers and dragons appear on a variety of blue and white porcelain types as universal complimentary opposites. This tall baluster vase is carved and painted with a dragon flying overhead in the scrolling clouds looking back towards a poised tiger on the ground. The tiger and dragon act as Taoist symbols for Yin and Yang, the tiger ruler of the arid land and the dragon lord of the skies, seas, and bringer of rain. On the opposite side, a powerful pine tree painted in brown is rooted to a celadon painted rock with maroon fungi. Blades of grass jut out, painted in blue. A low relief carving forms the clouds that hide the flying four clawed dragon. The year 1683 during the Kangxi reign (1662-1722) marks the return of the Imperial production of porcelain and the reinstitution of the Imperial kilns at Jingdezhen. A revival of imperial blue and white porcelain resulted in superbly crafted porcelains with well combined body, glaze, cobalt pigment, and skillful decoration. Refined blue cobalt allowed for adventurous and varied painting techniques, emulating watercolor on paper. Blue and white porcelain was popularized in China by the Mongol emperors during the Yuan dynasty (1271-1368). Trade along The Silk Road meant access to Middle Eastern imports, including Persian and Central Asian cobalt ore that facilitated the porcelain production from the 14th to the early 15th century. Domestic sources of cobalt ore, including the vibrant Buddha Head blue, replaced or were mixed with the expensive imported cobalt.
Provenance William T. Walters, Baltimore [date and mode of acquisition unknown]; inherited by Henry Walters, Baltimore, 1894; by bequest to Walters Art Museum, 1931.
Inscriptions [Reign Mark] In blue underglaze: da qing kang xi nian zhi
Credit Acquired by William T. Walters
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