Results 1 684
397 Previous Next

Plate with a Dragon
Explore Object
Creative Commons License

Plate with a Dragon

Description Exhibitions Provenance Inscription Credit
Description This saucer shaped plate is decorated in underglaze cobalt blue on white porcelain. In the center, a dragon emerges from the waves with flaming shoulders and flanks as two fish (one a carp) swim in the spiraling waves. What may be depicted in this scene is the metamorphosis of the "Fish Dragon", an allegory for a scholar's success at state competitive examinations. Curled crests of waves dotted with foam encircle the border of the plate while the underside is ornamented with six emblems tied with fillets – they include a couple of books, a round jewel, a diamond, an umbrella, a conch shell, and a palm leaf. The painting style resembles that of paint on paper, using the outline and wash technique with varied shades of cobalt blue adding dynamism and dimensionality to the waves and the scaly bodies of the fish and dragon.
  • Imagining China: The View from England, 1550-1700. Folger Shakespeare Library, Washington. 2009-2010.
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 spurious reign mark of Chenghua (1464-1487)
Credit Acquired by William T. Walters

Download Image Add to Collection Creative Commons License

porcelain with underglaze blue
Accession Number
W: 10 1/2 in. (26.7 cm)
  • China (Place of Origin)
Location Within Museum
Not On View


    Thumbnail: Plate with a Dragon
    Zoom Out Zoom In Back to Details  
    Full Size: Plate with a Dragon