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Chinese Bronzes of the Shang and Zhou Periods
Han Dynasty Bronzes
Early Chinese Ceramics
Sculpture from Tombs
Chinese Buddhist Sculpture
Tang and Liao Dynasty Metalwork
Ceramics of the Song and Jin Periods
Porcelains of the Yuan and Early Ming Periods
Imperial Chinese Ceramics of the 15th Century
Ceramics of the Late Ming Period
Qing Dynasty Porcelain
Landscape Painting in China
Jade and Lacquer in China
Footed Dish
North China; Tang period (618-906), 8th century
Earthenware with stamped design under multicolored lead glazes (sancai ware)
H. 2 1/8 in. (5.4 cm); D. 9 1/2 in. (24.1 cm)
Mr. and Mrs. John D. Rockefeller 3rd Collection of Asian Art
The shape of this three-legged dish decorated with a design of clouds and flowers was derived from similar shapes used in the metalwork of Iran and western Central Asia. While the clouds are a traditional Chinese motif, the stylization of the flower into geometricized shapes reflects foreign aesthetics. Several techniques were used to decorate this dish: the design of flowers and clouds was first stamped into clay, then portions of the design were covered with glazes of different colors. Glaze-resistant material, possibly wax, was applied to certain areas of the dish, preventing the glazes from adhering and allowing unglazed areas to become part of the design. The multicolored lead glazes used to decorate this piece are known as three-color or sancai glazes. Sancai pieces are among the best-known and finest examples of ceramics from the Tang dynasty.
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