China blue

Here’s a little BLUESDAY inspiration from our Asian art collection, currently on view in Infinite Blue.

This masterly Ming dynasty plate was made in the imperial kilns at Jingdezhen. Its delicate decoration depicts a virtual botanic garden: on the outer rim are alternating fruit and flowers including crab apples, peaches, pomegranates, and gingko. At center are peonies with their large and variegated blossoms symbolizing good fortune. Also shown are naturalistically painted lotus flowers with a rare depiction of both the pods and the buds.

Plate, 1403–24 China, Ming dynasty, Yongle period Porcelain with underglaze cobalt blue decoration.