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Jar with Floral Design

The rapid development and diversification of the Japanese porcelain industry in the seventeenth century was the result of many technically skilled potters being brought to Japan from Korea. Led by Ri Sampei (1579–1655), who discovered porcelain clays in northern Kyushu in 1616, Korean immigrant potters established a major porcelain production area in Arita, the town near these deposits. Sakaida Kakiemon (1596–1666) is generally credited with the development of applying polychrome overglaze enamels to fired vessels that were then refired at a lower temperature. Kakiemon is the name given to porcelains made by Sakaida and his descendents.

The earliest Arita overglaze designs were mainly copies of Chinese wares, based on Chinese painting of the late Ming (1368–1644) and early Qing (1644–1911) dynasties. As time went on, however, designs became more thoroughly Japanese in flavor. This large and impressive jar derives its form and certain elements of its design from Chinese Ming-dynasty styles, notably in the upright leaf pattern on the rim, the floral scrolls on the shoulder, and the bordered panels on the body that enclose clumps of flowering plants. The free and imaginative execution of the blossoms and leaves has a distinctly Japanese flavor.


(N.V. Hammer, Inc., New York);

purchased by Kimbell Art Foundation, Fort Worth, 1968.