China, Jiangxi Province
Quing period, Yongzheng era, 1723-1735
Porcelain painted with overglaze enamels (Jindezhen ware)
H. 13 1/2 in. (34.3 cm), D. 8 3/4 in. (22.2 cm); 1979.189

Artist Comments

Brother Thomas

This mei p'ing vase is a glorious work of art but not primarily the art of the potter. The glory of this piece comes from the heart and hand of a painter.

Whoever he or she was, whether an anonymous artist in a production line at Jingdezhen, or a recognized court painter, this is a priceless piece of overglaze enamel painting.

But the work of the potter, is in the background like a canvas for a painter. Without the painting this pure white pot would look equally as blank as a canvas.

Is it then just like a canvas, only a means to the art of the painter? Or is it really a work of ceramic art? It is a question.

Then there is something magically integrated about the piece which raises another question. Was there a third person involved, a designer-mind bringing together the potter's skill and the painter's hand?

It remains a question; meantime we have the reality of a moving work of art. And there is no question about that.