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Japan and the Culture of the Four Seasons: Nature, Literature, and the Arts

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Gourd-Shaped Ewer

Period:
Goryeo dynasty (918–1392)
Date:
early 12th century
Culture:
Korea
Medium:
Stoneware with carved and incised decoration of waterfowl and reeds under celadon glaze
Dimensions:
H. 10 1/2 in. (26.7 cm); W. 7 7/8 in. (20 cm)
Classification:
Ceramics
Credit Line:
Fletcher Fund, 1927
Accession Number:
27.119.2
  • Description

    A magnificent example of Goryeo celadon, this ewer highlights the potter's technical sophistication and creativity in adapting a motif from nature, the double gourd, into a practical and appealing ceramic vessel. The design of ducks and geese amid reeds demonstrates an appreciation for pictorial realism. High-quality celadon, which was produced around two major regions—Gangjin and Buan, in the southwestern part of the peninsula—was considered a luxury item during the twelfth century and used primarily by royalty and members of the aristocracy living in and around the capital city, Gaeseong. Goryeo celadon was especially prized in East Asia for its beautiful form, clean lines, subtle green color, and evocative or playful decoration.

  • See also
    What
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    In the Museum
    Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History
    MetPublications
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