Pillow in the shape of an infant boy


On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 222

Jadeite was introduced into China from Myanmar, probably in the seventeenth century, and became a favored material at the eighteenth-century Qing court for its intense green color, high translucency, and vitreous luster. This remarkable sculpture of a crouching boy is modeled after the ceramic pillows of the same shape that were produced at the famed kilns of the Song period (960–1279). It not only illustrates the elegant taste of the Qing court but also denotes the increased access to the prized material. The boy, a common motif in Chinese art, expresses the wish for multiple children to carry on the family line.

#953. Kids: Pillow in the Form of an Infant Boy

Pillow in the shape of an infant boy, Jade (jadeite), China

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