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Brush Pot with Scene of Washing an Elephant

Period:
Ming dynasty (1368–1644), Chongzhen period (1628–44)
Date:
mid-17th century
Culture:
China
Medium:
Porcelain painted with cobalt blue under transparent glaze (Jingdezhen ware)
Dimensions:
H. 6 1/2 in. (16.5 cm) Diam. of rim: 4 7/8 in. (12.4 cm) Diam. of base: 4 7/16 in. (11.2 cm)
Classification:
Ceramics
Credit Line:
Purchase, Gift of Elizabeth V. Cockcroft, by exchange, 2008
Accession Number:
2008.80
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 203
Found in paintings as well as the decorative arts, the theme of figures washing an elephant, or sao xiang, is a pun on the Buddhist notion of the illusionary nature of the phenomenal world.
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