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Globular Vase

Asian Art

This vase is adorned with the auspicious motif of interlocking white chrysanthemums. The chrysanthemum is part of the Confucian motif of the “Four Gentlemen,” a quartet of plants used in Chinese painting to evoke the unfolding of the seasons throughout the year.

In literature, the flower was identified with the famous poet Tao Yuanming (365–427), who in one of his most famous poems wrote: “Picking chrysanthemum flowers by the eastern hedge, I gaze at South Mountain in the distance.” Through this poetic association, the chrysanthemum became an emblem of the fall, blooming in the chilly autumn air that heralds the coming of winter, and a symbol of the scholar’s ability to preserve moral integrity under adverse circumstances. It was also through Tao Yuanming that the chrysanthemum became a symbol of retirement from public office during times of political instability.
MEDIUM Porcelain with glaze and pigment
  • Place Made: Jiangxi, China
  • DATES 1736-1795
    DYNASTY Qing Dynasty
    PERIOD Qianlong Period
    DIMENSIONS 15 3/8 x 8 15/16 in. (39.1 x 22.7 cm)  (show scale)
    COLLECTIONS Asian Art
    MUSEUM LOCATION This item is not on view
    EXHIBITIONS
    ACCESSION NUMBER 32.917
    CREDIT LINE Gift of the executors of the Estate of Colonel Michael Friedsam
    RIGHTS STATEMENT Creative Commons-BY
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    CAPTION Globular Vase, 1736-1795. Porcelain with glaze and pigment, 15 3/8 x 8 15/16 in. (39.1 x 22.7 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Gift of the executors of the Estate of Colonel Michael Friedsam, 32.917. Creative Commons-BY (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, 32.917_transp6283.jpg)
    IMAGE overall, 32.917_transp6283.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph
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     <em>Globular Vase</em>, 1736-1795. Porcelain with glaze and pigment, 15 3/8 x 8 15/16 in. (39.1 x 22.7 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Gift of the executors of the Estate of Colonel Michael Friedsam, 32.917. Creative Commons-BY (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, 32.917_transp6283.jpg)