The development history of Chinese ceramics (9): The charm of creation-Yuan Dynasty ceramics

By | November 15, 2020

lthough the Yuan Dynasty enjoyed the country for less than a hundred years, its porcelain production showed a comprehensive innovative atmosphere and strong creative courage, which became an important stage in the history of Chinese ceramics. In addition to the continuous production of blue and white porcelain in the Song Dynasty, Jingdezhen in the Yuan Dynasty also created egg white glaze, copper red glaze and cobalt blue glaze, especially the successful firing of blue and white porcelain and red porcelain in glaze, which gave the Chinese porcelain industry a new life The new era has opened a new splendid page in the history of Chinese porcelain.

Egg white glaze (shufu glaze)

At the beginning of the founding of the Yuan Dynasty (to the 15th year of the Yuan Dynasty, 1278), the “Fuliang Porcelain Bureau” was established in Jingdezhen. This was the first initiative of the central government to establish a porcelain industry management agency in the locality, which opened up the porcelain policy of Jingdezhen in the Ming and Qing Dynasties. Precedent.

In the Yuan Dynasty, an official kiln was set up in Jingdezhen, which was exquisitely made. The decorative patterns often have the word “shufu” (the egg white glazed porcelain ordered by the Privy Council of Yuan Dynasty military organs in Jingdezhen), so it is also called Shufu glaze. Jingdezhen gradually became a nationwide porcelain manufacturer The center also began in the Yuan Dynasty.

The development history of Chinese ceramics (9): The charm of creation-Yuan Dynasty ceramics

A glaze-printed dragon-patterned plate from the Jingdezhen kiln of Yuan Dynasty

Yuan Qinghua

Blue and white porcelain is an underglaze porcelain ware that is colored with cobalt on the porcelain body, then transparent glaze is applied, and fired at a high temperature of about 1300 degrees. Although only one kind of blue is used, the shades and levels of the pigments can present extremely rich and varied artistic effects. In the middle and late Yuan Dynasty, Jingdezhen fired a large number of mature blue-and-white porcelains with fine texture, elegant and beautiful in color, and densely crafted in composition. The fact that many works have been found in West Asia and Southeast Asia and the appearance of blue and white porcelain in contemporary Islamic custom paintings shows that the firing of blue and white porcelain in the Yuan Dynasty largely meets the needs of the Islamic region.

The development history of Chinese ceramics (9): The charm of creation-Yuan Dynasty ceramics

Yuan blue and white phoenix head pot

The development history of Chinese ceramics (9): The charm of creation-Yuan Dynasty ceramics

Yuan Dynasty Blue, White, Melon, Bamboo and Grape Pattern Lingkou Plate (Jingdezhen Kiln)

Reasons for the prosperity of Yuan Qinghua:

1. The ruler’s strong interest in arts and crafts promoted the development of Yuan blue and white, and determined its basic style, from the elegant and elegant of Song Dynasty to the exquisite and gorgeous of Yuan Dynasty.

2. The ruler of the Yuan Dynasty is a prairie nation, who likes to fully express the power of man in the arts and crafts works, which is in sharp contrast with the power of man in the works of the Song Dynasty.

3. Mongolia has been in contact with West Asia in history, and its colors and patterns are affected by it, and it has obtained cobalt, an important raw material for blue and white porcelain.

4. After the reunification of the whole country, due to the development of transportation and maritime trade in Central Asia, the development of porcelain was promoted. Among export porcelain, blue and white is the most popular variety.

5. In Shamanism, the primitive religion worshipped by the Mongolian people, blue symbolizes the sky and white symbolizes goodness, and these two colors are also the colors of the Mongolian origin totem “blue wolf and white deer”.

Features of Yuan Qinghua:

1. The shape is huge and exquisite. Like the blue printed cloth, it has the characteristics of simplicity, honesty and elegance.

2. Yuan blue and white decoration has many levels, full picture, strong realism of shape, flower and leaf proportion in line with nature, and rich subject matter.

3. The appearance of characters and opera themes, such as Guiguzi descending the mountain, General Meng Tian, ​​Xiao Heyue chasing Han Xin, Zhaojun leaving the fortress, and the savior Yuchigong.

4. Some shapes are rich in prairie characteristics, such as general pot, cockscomb pot, chicken thigh pot, flat pot, goblet and so on.

The development history of Chinese ceramics (9): The charm of creation-Yuan Dynasty ceramics

The height of the blue and white “Jinxiang Pavilion” in the middle of the 14th century is 27.3cm (HK$47.16 million in 2005)

Red in glaze

The red in the glaze is made of copper oxide instead of cobalt. The method is the same as the underglaze painting of the blue and white genus. Because it is reduced to snow red and the glaze is transparent, it is called the red in glaze. It is not easy to fire. It is a kind of harder to fire porcelain. It is often grayish red or dark brown. It is quite unstable, has a small output and is less handed down.

The development history of Chinese ceramics (9): The charm of creation-Yuan Dynasty ceramics

Yuan glaze jar with red lid

The development history of Chinese ceramics (9): The charm of creation-Yuan Dynasty ceramics

Glazed red bowl with peony pattern

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