Vase Zen with hundred deer - ROM2005_1592_4


Vase Zen with hundred deer

Medium:Wheel-thrown porcelain with glaze and enamel paints
Geography: Jingdezhen, Jiangxi province, China
Date: mid 18th-late 18th Century
Period: Qing Dynasty, Qianlong Period
45.5 x 37.3 cm
Object number: 911.9.17
Credit Line: Gift of Mrs. H.D. Warren
On view
Gallery Location:Joey and Toby Tanenbaum Gallery of China
DescriptionAs bronze and jade held pride of place in ancient China, so painting and calligraphy were most esteemed among the arts in later dynasties. The vase was made in appreciation of archaic form of bronze Zun, commonly seen in Shang Dynasty (c. 16 century BC – 1045 BC). The scenes that rolls uninterrupted around this vase resembles landscapes on scrolls painted in the traditional scholarly mode, with heavily textured, distant mountains rising from the mists and gnarled evergreens with intricately striated and fissured trunks. Contained within the landscape are symbols of some of the long-held aspirations of the Chinese. On the left, peaches of longevity are intertwined with the branches of a pine; on the right, the fungus of immortality grows sheltered below the rock with a sleeping doe. But the gambolling and prancing deer are the focus of the decoration, and they carry the strongest message. Through a pun on the word lu which can mean both ‘deer’ and ‘civil service salary’, the ‘Hundred Deer’ express the hope for an eminent career in government service – the ultimate in success in imperial China. The vase is commissioned or a gift for the imperial court, identical vase are found in National Palace Museum in Taipei.
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