Storage Jar

China
Neolithic period, Machang phase (c. 7000–2000 B.C.)
c. 2200 B.C.
Low-fired clay with iron oxide and manganese pigments
H. 15 in. (38.1 cm); Diam. 16 in. (40.7 cm)
AP 1985.16
Currently Not On View
Large storage jars, painted with a free hand in imaginative geometric designs, are commonly found in Neolithic tombs in Gansu province, located in west China. Probably used to hold food or liquids buried with the dead, these jars have a simple, bold shape and strong patterning that have appealed to modern sensibilities. Jars like these are among the earliest Chinese artifacts known; they predate the development of bronze technique and are a testament to a remarkable skill in firing and decorating ceramics at a very early date.

Provenance

(Eskenazi, Ltd., London); purchased by Kimbell Art Foundation, Fort Worth, 1985.