Large, Broad-Shouldered Jar With Decoration Of Two Striding Dragons, Each Pursuing A Flaming Jewel
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Identification and Creation
Object Number
2003.291
Title
Large, Broad-Shouldered Jar with Decoration of Two Striding Dragons, Each Pursuing a Flaming Jewel
Classification
Vessels
Work Type
vessel
Date
mid 18th century
Places
Creation Place: East Asia, Korea
Period
Chosôn dynasty, 1392-1910
Culture
Korean
Physical Descriptions
Medium
Blue-and-white ware: porcelain with decoration painted in underglaze cobalt blue
Dimensions
H. 44.3 x Diam. 35 cm (17 7/16 x 13 3/4 in.)
Acquisition and Rights
Credit Line
Harvard Art Museums/Arthur M. Sackler Museum, Gift of Marie-Hélène Weill and Claudia Weill Teller
Object Number
2003.291
Division
Asian and Mediterranean Art
Contact
am_asianmediterranean@harvard.edu
Descriptions
Description
Large, broad-shouldered, narrow-waisted jars of this type were popular in Korea in the late seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth centuries. Seventeenth- and eighteenth-century examples have a short, collarlike neck and an exaggerated profile, with bulging shoulders and a constricted waist; nineteenth-century examples, by contrast, show a more subdued profile but have a tall neck and a beveled foot.

In the East Asian dualistic yin-yang interpretation of the universe, the dragon symbolizes the yang, or male, principle, while the phoenix represents the yin, or female, principle. Associated with water, the auspicious dragon is typically paired with clouds, mist, or rolling waves; the flaming jewel, borrowed from the repertory of Buddhist art, symbolizes transcendent wisdom. The motif here of a dragon chasing a flaming jewel thus symbolizes the pursuit of wisdom.
Publication History

Harvard University Art Museums, Harvard University Art Museums Annual Report 2003-2004 (Cambridge, MA, 2005), p. 21

Stephan Wolohojian, ed., Harvard Art Museum Handbook, Harvard Art Museum (Cambridge, MA, 2008), p. 119

Exhibition History

Plum, Orchid, Chrysanthemum, and Bamboo: Botanical Motifs and Symbols in East Asian Painting, Harvard University Art Museums, Arthur M. Sackler Museum, Cambridge, 07/06/2002 - 01/05/2003

Subjects and Contexts

Collection Highlights

Verification Level

3 - Good. Object is well described and information is vetted