Prunus Vase with Blue-and-White Designs of Birds Paying Homage to the Phoenix
This prunus vase is tall, upright, dignified and graceful in modeling. Its mouth is flared presenting the shape of a trumpet. It is mellow and crystal in color. The blue designs are bright-colored. The neck is painted with banana-leaf designs. The shoulders are embellished with three reserved panels in the ground of tortoise shell designs. The interior of the panels are decorated with the designs of cranes crossing the clouds. The shin is embellished with blue-and-white designs of the Eight Treasures on lotus flower as the upper layer; the lower layer is designed with deformed lotus-petal designs. The themed design on the belly is composed of majestic scenes. Rare stones stand towering in the luxuriant woods. Peonies are already in full bloom. Four phoenixes in the form similar to peacocks are bestowed with distinctive demeanor. Hundreds of birds tweet together and bring up a vigorous scene. The entire painting is provided with the implication of "birds paying homage to the phoenix", which is also known as "birds paying homage to the king" and the "painting of motherly model". It is of rich cultural connotations. In ancient China, phoenix was used to compare with emperors, which later turned into the symbol of empress while dragon stood for the emperor instead. However, whether for the former or the latter situation, phoenix always symbolizes the imperial court. Therefore, the scene of "birds paying homage to the phoenix" depicts emperors of keen intelligence and excellent judgment, national peace and unity of the country. Besides, it can also be used to express people's infinite yearning for the time of national peace and order. The painting of ,"birds paying homage to the phoenix" with vigorous atmosphere and various postures is actually a portrayal of the Chinese nation's tradition of yearning for peace and blessing.