On View: Asian Galleries, South, 2nd floor
Both of these bottles have been decorated using the sgraffito, or scratching, method: the gray clay body of the vessel was painted with white slip, and then the surface was scraped to reveal the darker surface beneath. Both vessels were then covered in transparent celadon glaze, which sealed and protected the decoration. One bottle has an image of a peony flower, a popular motif in Korean art because it represented wealth and high status.
Buncheong ware, stoneware with white-slip decoration
mid-to late 15th century
8 11/16 x 7 in. (22 x 17.8 cm)
Diameter at mouth: 1 7/8 in. (4.8 cm)
Diameter at base: 3 5/16 in. (8.4 cm)
Ella C. Woodward Memorial Fund
From "Korean Art Collection in the Brooklyn Museum" catalogue:
This buncheong bottle with flattened, oval body is decorated with peony design applied via the use of bakji (sgraffito) technique. The technique involves a process of scratching off the background outside an incised design to reveal a different color underneath so that a contrast of colors is achieved between the incised form still maintaining the white slip coating and the gray background surrounding it where the coating is removed. The technique saw a major development during the reign of King Sejong and was favored by the potters in the Jeolla province. The delightfully neat figure combined with the carefree expression of the peony design makes it one among finer pieces of buncheong works remaining today.
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