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AUA Oriental Art

Longquan Celadon Figurine, Ming Dynasty (1368-1644)

Longquan Celadon Figurine, Ming Dynasty (1368-1644)

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This sculpture is a Longquan celadon from the Ming Dynasty, renowned for its rich and jade-like green glaze. The figurine is likely a representation of a Buddhist deity or a revered scholar, showcasing the calm aesthetic expressions and graceful contours prevalent during the era. The spectrum of celadon glaze ranges from a dense grey stoneware to a nearly white porcelain texture, with unglazed parts revealing a terracotta brown upon firing. Such pieces were often part of household altars, reflecting the era's spiritual devotion. This artifact would be a treasured exhibit in any museum's Asian art collection, symbolizing both religious reverence and artistic excellence.

Period: Ming Dynasty (1368-1644)
Region: Longquan, China
Medium: Stoneware - Celadon glazed, with a range from heavy grey to almost white porcelain-like material
Type: Sculpture
Height : 24.5 cm
Provenance : Acquired in late 1990s from Hongkong


* Ming Dynasty Longquan Celadon

Longquan celadon from the Ming Dynasty typically exhibits a more robust and heavier stoneware body compared to its Song Dynasty predecessors. The Ming era saw an evolution in celadon glaze, achieving a wider spectrum of green hues, from olive to bluish-greens. Ming celadons often had thicker glaze applications, sometimes featuring multiple layers and even multiple firings to attain depth and richness in the glaze.

In contrast, Song Dynasty Longquan celadons are known for their more refined and thinner bodies, with a glaze palette that tends toward more subtle and more uniform green shades. The shapes of Song celadons were usually simpler, emphasizing the glaze's quality and texture.

During the Song period, there was also a greater emphasis on subtle and elegant forms, with less ornate decoration compared to the Ming pieces, which showcased more elaborate decorative motifs, including incised or moulded patterns. Song Dynasty Longquan wares were also highly prized for their thin walls and lightness, reflecting a high level of technical mastery in pottery-making.

Overall, while both dynasties produced celadons of exceptional quality, the Ming Longquan celadons are distinguished by their bolder forms and more varied glaze effects, while the Song Dynasty celadons are celebrated for their simplicity and the pure beauty of their glazes.

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