Porcelains with underglaze designs painted in blue were first produced in Korea during the fifteenth century. The relatively high iron content of Korean cobalt yielded a somewhat muddy color, and consequently, leading local artisans preferred minerals imported to Korea through China from Iran. Due to the high cost of the foreign pigment, only the royal household was initially entitled to use the precious wares. By the eighteenth century, however, when Korea entered an age of prosperity and renewed cultural activity, blue-and-white wares were available to a broader range of society. Many porcelains were produced in the late eighteenth century at the royal kilns in Gwangju, near the Joseon capital of Hanyang (modern Seoul). Court painters were frequently employed to paint the surface designs. Beautifully painted, this jar features a scaly dragon with big friendly eyes, sharp teeth, small horns, and a lively mane. Considered auspicious throughout East Asia, the dragon symbolizes royalty and prosperity. This boldly painted creature attests to the brush of a skillful court artist and anticipates later decorative trends in court and folk painting. A fine example, this robust, elegant jar illustrates the well-balanced form and relatively short mouth rim characteristic of eighteenth-century wares. Hyonjeong Kim, Associate Curator, Chinese and Korean Art, (2008)More...
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- Los Angeles County Museum of Art. New York: Thames and Hudson, 2003.
- Korean Art Collection of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, U.S.A. Daejeon, Republic of Korea: National Research Institute of Cultural Heritage, 2012.