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"Sky-clearing-blue" Bowl with design of Two Four-clawed Dragons Chasing a Pearl

Artist/maker unknown, Chinese

Made in China, Asia

Late 19th - early 20th century

Glazed porcelain with incised underglaze decoration - monochrome

2 1/2 x 8 1/16 inches (6.4 x 20.5 cm)

Curatorial Department:
East Asian Art

Object Location:

Currently not on view

Accession Number:

Credit Line:
Gift of Major General and Mrs. William Crozier, 1944

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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.