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Epitaph Tablets (Myoji), from a Set of Thirty-four

Period:
Joseon dynasty (1392–1910)
Date:
dated 1736
Culture:
Korea
Medium:
Porcelain with underglaze cobalt-blue decoration
Dimensions:
Each: H. 9 7/8 in. (25.1 cm); W. 2 3/4 in. (7 cm)
Classification:
Ceramics
Credit Line:
Gift of The Honorable Joseph P. Carroll and Mrs. Carroll, to commemorate the opening of the Arts of Korea Gallery, 1998
Accession Number:
1998.486.1–.34
  • Description

    These rectangular epitaph tablets commemorate the life of O Myeong-hang (1673–1728), an exemplary scholar-official and accomplished calligrapher who served under several Joseon kings and eventually attained the position of state
    councilor.

    An important historical document, the set provides insight into the mortuary practices of the neo-Confucian society of eighteenth-century Korea, when epitaphs chronicling the life and achievements of the deceased were written on stone or ceramic tablets and placed inside graves. The tablets also offer valuable information on the manufacture of porcelain and the art of calligraphy. The writing is in Chinese characters, the written language of choice for most official documents—especially for the literati—even after the invention of the Korean alphabet (Hangeul) nearly three hundred years earlier.

  • See also
    What
    Where
    When
    In the Museum
    Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History
49812:33

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