Amphora with dragon-shaped handles


On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 202

The long and complicated history of the shape illustrates the wide-ranging influences found in Chinese art in the seventh and eighth centuries, when China was the center of a trading network that stretched from the Mediterranean to Korea and Japan. The ovoid shape suggests the “amphora” of Greece and Rome, while the animal-shaped handles allude to Persian and Central Asian metalwork. The ubiquitous dragon is a Chinese addition to this type of storage vessel.

Amphora with dragon-shaped handles, Stoneware with raised decoration and pale buff glaze, China

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