Prunus Vase with Blue-and-White Flower and Bird Designs Made in Tianqi’s Reign


The themed design on the belly of this vase is blue-and-white painting of birds and flowers. Trees in the picture are tall and upright, standing among flowers, grass and mountain rocks; branches are slightly curved with stretching ends and luxuriant leaves. A golden pheasant stands on a tottering stone beside the trees with its head raised, stretching tail feathers and staring in the distance, which seems to fly away at any time. Flowers and grass are luxuriantly grown in the flowering shrubs not far away, which are surrounded by fluttering butterflies. Several peonies are in full bloom and stand gracefully, which make us think of the poetic lines of Liu Yuxi: "only peonies are the genuine beauties of the country, which touch the entire capital in full bloom". Two magpies stretch their wings and flutter. One looks directly at the front while the other looks backwards. The two of them echo with each other. The entire picture is realistic, vigorous and full of vitality in style. Luxuriant woods and grass constitute a painting of a furious spring.