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447. Enamel on Biscuit Mountain

China, Kangxi period (1662-1722)
Height: 53 cm
Diameter: 27 cm

Provenance: - private collection, Boston (USA, 2014)
- purchased from Vanderven Oriental Art in the mid 1990’s at Grosvernor House

An usually large model of a mountain, decorated in enamels on the biscuit in the sancai palette of aubergine brown, yellow and green. The tall craggy peak is inhabited by figures, animals and small buildings, has prunus and pine trees growing up the mountainside. A path with steps curls round the mountain, leading through the open rocks and the pagoda’s. In several buildings there are also small figures present.

One small figure on this mountain, is that of a monkey wearing robes. This alludes to the famous Chinese story by Wu Cheng’en called Journey to the West. It tells the tale of Sun Wukong (The Monkey King), who goes to the sacred mountain paradise of the Queen Mother of the West. He wrecks her banquet by stealing most of the peaches of immortality. The story incorporates many Daoist elements, which would have appealed to the Chinese scholar-gentleman.


Literature:
Enamel on Biscuit Porcelain Catalogue 2015, no. 10

 

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