Epitaph tablets (Myoji), set of thirty-four, Porcelain with underglaze cobalt-blue design, Korea

해은부원군 오명항 묘지 조선
海恩府院君 吳命恒 墓誌 朝鮮
Epitaph tablets (Myoji), set of thirty-four

Period:
Joseon dynasty (1392–1910)
Date:
dated 1736
Culture:
Korea
Medium:
Porcelain with underglaze cobalt-blue design
Dimensions:
Each: H. 9 7/8 in. (25.1 cm); W. 2 3/4 in. (7 cm)
Classification:
Ceramics-Implements
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
Not on view
These rectangular epitaph tablets commemorate the life of O Myeong-hang (1673–1728), a scholar-official and 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 An important historical document, the set provides insight into the mortuary practices of the neo-Confucian society of eighteenth-century Korea, when epitaphs chronicling the life and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 text 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.
The Honorable Joseph P. Carroll , New York (until 1998; donated to MMA)
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Hidden Jewels from the Mary Griggs Burke Collection," July 3, 2004–January 9, 2005.

New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Arts of Korea," January 14, 2005–October 29, 2006.

New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Art of Korea," July 7, 2009–November 15, 2009.

New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Contemplations on the Moon Jar," November 16, 2009–April 25, 2010.

New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Arts of Korea," May 19, 2010–November 7, 2010.

New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Representation/Abstraction in Korean Art," November 23, 2010–March 20, 2011.

New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Art of Korea: Buddhism and Buddhist Art," December 9, 2011–June 3, 2012.

New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Korean Art," June 8, 2012–November 11, 2012.

New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Korea: 100 Years of Collecting at the Met," February 7, 2015–March 27, 2016.