inverted pear-shape; slightly flared bottom; small crane and cloud designs

Maebyeong with flying cranes and clouds, 12th century

expand_more

According to Daoist mythology, a magical mountain carried on the back of an ancient tortoise exists somewhere off the southern coast of China. The mountain is inhabited by immortal beings, and white cranes nest in ancient pine trees, which grow in great profusion. Thus, the crane became a symbol of immortality and a favorite theme among artists in China, Korea, and Japan. Potters of the Goryeo dynasty frequently inlaid their wares with cranes flying amid clouds. This maebyeong (“plum vessel”) is notable for its great restraint and subtlety; just a few tiny cranes and minimal clouds create a spare, but lovely, decoration. A cupped mouth, expanding shoulders, and tapering body are characteristic elements of the maebyeong, of which several examples can be seen in this gallery.

Exhibitions
Details
Title
Maebyeong with flying cranes and clouds
Role
Artist
Accession Number
2015.79.487
Catalogue Raisonne
Murase, Art through a Lifetime, no. 898
Curator Approved

This record is from historic documentation and may not have been reviewed by a curator, so may be inaccurate or incomplete. Our records are frequently revised and enhanced. If you notice a mistake or have additional information about this object, please email collectionsdata@artsmia.org.

Does something look wrong with this image? Let us know

Zoom in on the left to the detail you'd like to save. Click 'Save detail' and wait until the image updates. Right click the image to 'save image as' or copy link, or click the image to open in a new tab.

inverted pear-shape; slightly flared bottom; small crane and cloud designs