Collections: Asian Art: Pillow with Incised Decoration

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    Arts of Africa, Steinberg Family Sculpture Garden
  • 2nd Floor
    Arts of Asia and the Islamic World
  • 3rd Floor
    Egyptian Art, European Paintings
  • 4th Floor
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  • 5th Floor
    Luce Center for American Art

Hiroshige's One Hundred Famous Views of Edo

Hiroshige's 118 woodblock landscape and genre scenes of mid-nineteenth-century Tokyo, is one of the greatest achievements of Japanese art.

    On View: Portrait of a Man

    Although the coat of arms in the upper left corner offers a clue to this sitter\'s lineage, his identity remains unknown. Extending his left...

     

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    Pillow with Incised Decoration

    The image of an infant boy grasping peony flowers was a design motif on ceramics and textiles during the Northern Song dynasty. The motif of male children with flowers symbolizes good fortune and the wish for male progeny for many successive generations. To directly express the auspicious sentiment, male children often held lotus flowers. The Chinese character for "lotus," lian, is a homonym of the Chinese character for "succession."

    • Medium: Stoneware with slip and lead glaze
    • Place Made: China
    • Dates: 960-1279 C.E.
    • Dynasty: Song Dynasty
    • Dimensions: 5 1/2 x 14 3/4 x 8 5/8 in. (14.0 x 37.5 x 21.9 cm)  (show scale)
    • Collections:Asian Art
    • Museum Location: This item is not on view
    • Accession Number: 2001.6.2
    • Credit Line: Bequest of Mr. and Mrs. Myron S. Falk, Jr.
    • Rights Statement: Creative Commons-BY
    • Caption: Pillow with Incised Decoration, 960-1279 C.E. Stoneware with slip and lead glaze, 5 1/2 x 14 3/4 x 8 5/8 in. (14.0 x 37.5 x 21.9 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Bequest of Mr. and Mrs. Myron S. Falk, Jr., 2001.6.2. Creative Commons-BY
    • Image: overall, 2001.6.2_transp5221.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph
    • Catalogue Description: Bean-shaped pillow with incised and shallowly carved surface decoration on the center and sides surfaces. An infant boy with his arms raised above his head and clutching a flowering peony vine is the central motif of the pillow. Set against a background of faintly incised striations, the figure is flanked by two flowering peonies. A meandering leaf pattern decorates the sides and is also set against a striated background. A green glaze covers the surface except at the base. The image of an infant boy grasping peony flowers was a design motif on ceramics and textiles during the Northern Song dynasty (960-1127). The motif of male children associated with flowers symbolizes good fortune and the wish for male progeny for many successive generations. The inclusion of the peony flower in these images is less common than the representation of lotus flowers since the depiction of children grasping lotuses expresses the auspicious sentiment directly - the Chinese character for lotus, lian, is a homonym of the Chinese character for succession. It is also believed that the motif of young boys afloat with flowers was initially Indian in origin and reached China with the inception of Buddhism but held meaning to the Chinese in a way unrelated to Buddhism. On pillows, the images of male children surrounded with flowers functioned in one sense to inspire the production of many male offspring.
    • Record Completeness: Best (83%)
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