Tianqi: Blue and White Woman in Garden Dish
A blue and white dish depicting a woman in a garden, likely admiring the scenery or partaking in a tea ceremony. The reign mark on the back is freely written which is a common characteristic of Tianqi period ceramics.
The influence of the master landscape artist Dong Qichang (董其昌) (1555-1636) can be discerned in the use of a dark and light color contrast.
Designs for this ware are usually landscapes, birds and flowers, animals and human figures. Sizes are usually small to mid-size flatware and bowls. Many examples of the ware were treasured in Japan as part of the tea ceremony culture. Many examples of this ware show an unmistakable Japanese influence and it is thought that they were especially ordered from Japan by period tea masters. This ware is also known in Japan as ko sometsuke (古染付け) or “old blue-and white.” Base inscriptions are usually those from previous reigns in the dynasty with a preference for the Chenghua reign mark.
Hanaoka and Barberri trans., Masahiko Sato, Chinese Ceramics: A Short History. Weatherhill, New York and Tokyo, 1981, pp. 195-205.
Reference pieces to study
Jingdezhen ware porcelain plate painted with underglaze blue flowers and bees, Tianqi mark and reign, Ming Dynasty. 2.7cm tall, 21.4 cm diameter. The Asian Art of Museum of San Fransisco