Square-form vase with decoration of Su Shi’s Former and Latter Rhapsodies on the Red Cliff, Porcelain painted with cobalt blue under a transparent glaze (Jingdezhen ware), China

清康熙 景德鎮窯青花前後赤壁賦圖方瓶
Square-form vase with decoration of Su Shi’s Former and Latter Rhapsodies on the Red Cliff

Period:
Qing dynasty (1644–1911), Kangxi mark and period (1662–1722)
Culture:
China
Medium:
Porcelain painted with cobalt blue under a transparent glaze (Jingdezhen ware)
Dimensions:
H. 20 3/4 in. (52.7 cm); W. 6 1/4 in. (15.9 cm); D. 6 1/4 in. (15.9 cm); Diam. of rim: 5 1/4 in. (13.3 cm)
Classification:
Ceramics
Credit Line:
Gift of Julia and John Curtis, 2015
Accession Number:
2015.784.1
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 210
This vase records two texts titled Rhapsody on the Red Cliff, masterpieces composed by the beloved poet and statesman Su Shi (1037–1101) in the autumn and winter of 1082. Its square form elegantly accommodates the two stories in both text and image. When Su visited the site, it was already rich with historical significance due to the famous Battle of Red Cliff, believed to have been fought there at the end of the Han dynasty (206 B.C.–A.D. 220), but it was forever transformed by his famous poems and soon became a popular theme in art of all media.
Julia and John Curtis , Williamsburg, VA (until 2015; donated to MMA)