Porcelain painted in overglaze enamels (Jingdezhen ware)
H. 18 in. (45.7 cm); W. 14 in. (35.6 cm); Diam. of rim: 6 1/2 in. (16.5 cm); Diam. of foot: 9 1/2 in. (24.1 cm)
Mr. and Mrs. Isaac D. Fletcher Collection, Bequest of Isaac D. Fletcher, 1917
Not on view
Deer were considered supernatural creatures in premodern China, and they appear frequently in scenes of immortals and magical lands. Here, one hundred deer cavort in a magical landscape of towering pines. This imposing vase carries a second layer of meaning thanks to wordplay: the term for “one hundred deer,” bai lu (百鹿), is a homonym for bailu (百祿), the economic, cultural, and social benefits that could accrue during the course of an official career. The theme can thus be read as a wish to attain a position in government.
Mr. and Mrs. Isaac D. Fletcher , New York (until his d. 1917), bequeathed to MMA
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Extravagant Display: Chinese Art in the Eighteenth and Nineteenth Centuries," December 14, 2010–May 1, 2011.