Prunus Vase with the Blue-and-White Painting of Being Incorruptible Through the Whole Journey


This pair of prunus vases with the blue-and-white painting of playing children is of great characteristics. The main design on the belly is the playing scenes of children in blue and white colors. One vase is painted with a child in the disguise of an official riding on a bamboo horse. A child beside him disguises into a guard. In the design of the other vase, the lotus flower carried in both hands of a child is inserted with three halberds with the implication of "getting consecutive promotions of three grades". Both of the two vases are painted with children holding lotus flowers or leaves. The artistic inspiration also includes the active and positive principle of being a governmental official by "staying incorruptible through the whole journey" other than expecting children to grow up, become useful and get promotion. These vases are vivid in modeling, rich in images, and well-arranged in the hue and shade of blue-and-white designs. With a painting style of the transitional period from the late Ming to the early Qing dynasties, they are unique among numerous blue-and-white prunus vases of the Ming Dynasty.