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Chinese, Vase, porcelain painted in blue underglaze on a relief ground, Qing Dynasty, reign of Kangxi, 1662–1722. 17 7/8 x 8 in. Gallery 29A
This blue and white vase was made during the rule of Emperor Kangxi (1662–1722), the longest reigning emperor in China. During this time, the imperial porcelain factory was revived resoundingly thanks to the Emperor’s interest in culture and the arts. The flowers painted on the vase are magnolia blossoms, a symbol of purity and feminine beauty. A woman’s beauty is also mimicked in the shape and curves of the vase’s form. The magnolia was also associated with the emperor; in ancient China only the emperor could own a magnolia tree.
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