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Celadon Karashishi (Chinese lion-dog)

This figure of a mythical Chinese lion-dog is a virtuosic example of the flawless green-glazed porcelain produced produced in the eighteenth century in northwestern Kyushu, Japan. Typically, the glaze was applied over a layer of white slip (liquid clay). This enhances the celadon color and exaggerates the sinuous curves that make the animal so intensely expressive. A virtually unblemished ceramic sculpture of such scale and power is a particularly unusual technical achievement. In a Buddhist context, the karashishi is symbolic of the power and authority of the Buddha's teaching. This sculpture, however, was created as a decorative object and would have been place in the tokonoma, or display alcove, of a formal Japanese room.


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