"Sky-clearing-blue" Bowl with design of Two Four-clawed Dragons Chasing a Pearl
Artist/maker unknown, Chinese
This bowl was once in the collection of the Qianlong emperor (1736-1795), a passionate collector and commissioner of art as well as a composer of poetry and calligraphy. A poem written by the emperor--one of many of his own compositions that he ordered master artisans to incise into palace-collection objects--appears in official script at the base of the bowl.
The poem alludes to the bowl's brilliant color: Scattering mist and variegated colors disperse and do not leave behind any forms/they are washed out of the growing heavens and the color of the sky clearing up is azure.