The Development Stage of Blue and White Porcelain in Ming Dynasty

In the early days of the Ming Dynasty, an official kiln was set up in Jingdezhen, which had a good base for making porcelain for the royal family to enjoy and use.Blue and white porcelain is one of them.

As is known to all, blue and white porcelain is a kind of white ground blue flower porcelain, is the underglaze color, with cobalt oxide as the color agent, after high temperature firing, white ground blue flower characteristics should be white glaze ground, blue pattern, if not carefully looked at, almost all blue and white flowers are the same color, But the blue color of the blue-and-white porcelain has changed in almost every era.Broadly speaking, the blue-and-white porcelain of the Ming Dynasty experienced the following stages of development in general.

(-) The early Ming Dynasty (the Hongwu Period of the Ming Dynasty)

Hongwu’s blue-and-white porcelain in the early Ming Dynasty is thick and heavy in shape.Much of what is seen is black in blue.For more than bowl class, there are a small number of large plate, rhombic mouth cangtuo, plum bottles, holding pots, jars, and so on.

(2) Golden Age (Ming Yongle and Xuande)

Ming Yongle, Xuande period, Jingdezhen kiln blue-and-white porcelain, fired into a prosperous era, this era is known as China’s blue-and-white porcelain production of the “golden age.”In today’s ancient ceramics research, especially in the field of appreciation, people attach most importance to the most popular works are early Ming Yongle, Xuande’s Jingdezhen official kiln works, some even Yongle, Xuande’s blue-and-white famous works compared with some outstanding Western classical art works.

(3) Dark Period (Orthodox, Jingtai and Tianshun)

After Xuande, the orthodox, Jingtai and Tianshun three dynasties were later called Jingdezhen official kiln porcelain production of the “dark era.”

Because these three dynasties official kilns did not see the calligrapher, so the later generation to three dynasties porcelain appearance understanding fuzzy, to this day, people still can’t distinguish these three dynasties’ works, generally can only according to the product characteristics of each era, from the search belongs to three dynasties burned works.The blue-and-white porcelain of the three dynasties of orthodoxy, Jingtai and Tianshun had the distinct characteristics of the times.Look from the green material.These three dynasties kiln green mainly used domestic green materials, they should be the Jiangxi area “Tuqing”.Early products, blue-blue color blue middle belt black more, later products have a quiet elegant tendency.This three-dynasty blue and white decoration, the early common pattern full of dense tangled flowers, but later appeared a lot of simple and scrawled products.Seen from the pattern, with tangled branches lotus pattern for many, there are broken branches of peony, broken branches of flowers and plants, cloud, there are rhinoceros, Kirin, two lions playing ball, butterfly, lotus pond mandarin duck, fish algae, pine bamboo plum, baby play chart and so on, there are more products in Sanskrit or Fushou word.

(4) Middle Ming Dynasty (Chenghua, Hongzhi and Zhengde)

For Chenghua Dynasty’s official kiln blue-and-white porcelain, the posterity’s appraisal is very high.In Ming and Qing Dynasties, many literati’s comprehensive evaluation of Ming porcelain was that Xuande was the top, Chenghua was the second, Yongle was the second, but some people’s views were different, regard Chenghua porcelain as the first.

From the perspective of viewing, Chenghua Blue and White and Yongle Blue and White, Xuande blue and white also have its own characteristics.Yongyong, Xuan blue and white flowers, black spots, quaint and elegant.Chenghua blue and white color elegant, ink painting style.

Some of Yongxuan’s works are painted with imported “Su Ma Li Qing” color (the rich and dark color of sapphire and blue flowers are painted with this kind of green material), while Chenghua’s blue flowers may still be painted with imported green material in addition to some of its products in the early period. The later paintings mainly use the “Pitang Green” (also known as” Equal Green “) mined in Leping area of Jiangxi Province, and the painted styles are obviously different from those of Yongqing and Xuanqing.Yong, Xuanqing blue and white coloring with small brush touch, so after firing there is a thick and weak level.

Chenghua blue and white flowers mainly use double hook lines to outline the pattern, then render in the pattern, double hook lines with thick pen, render with light pen, therefore, firing works show color most light elegant.The creation of a new blue-and-white porcelain painting on the eye of the new painting method, a great impact on the future generations.During the reign of Hongzhi, the new emperor was more frugal, and at the beginning of his rise to power, he ordered the production of many official languages to be stopped.Therefore, the Hongzhi Dynasty Jingdezhen porcelain burning did not become brilliant.Nevertheless, there are a lot of good works in this period, but basically maintain the fired style of Chenghua period, not much creative.During the Zhengde period, the burning scale of Jingdezhen Imperial Artifact Factory was greatly expanded.And a change before the exquisite style to the rustic and thick style change, the shape is also more rich, often a multi-type.The raw materials used are also varied, such as: Hongzhi when the term of the use of “equal green”, Ruizhou area of “stone green” and so on.The embellishment also is richer than before dynasty.Such as: Yunlong, Shuanglong, Lianlong, Yunfeng, Shuangfeng, flowers and birds, sea animals, eight immortal characters, Shouxing, Pavilion characters as well as Persian, Bathba Wen, and so on.

(5) Late Ming Dynasty (Jiajing, Longqing and Wanli)

In the late Ming Dynasty, the blue-and-white porcelain of Jingdezhen developed on a larger scale.Its quantity far exceeds early Ming Hongwu to Zhengde period official kiln blue-and-white burning total.Therefore, this period is another important historical period of Ming dynasty blue-and-white porcelain.Although the three-dynasty Jingdezhen blue-and-white official porcelain is not as attractive as the early and mid-Ming dynasty official porcelain products, but people are still very fond of these three-dynasty porcelain products, many of the artistic value of the works is relatively high.The blue-and-white porcelain of the Jiajing period was characterized by its brilliant red-and-purple color, and the blue-and-white material used in the blue-and-white ware was” Hui-qing “produced in Xinjiang.This is the best green material in Jiajing Dynasty, its hair color is rich, bright and green.In the middle of Jiajing, because Emperor Jiajing advocated Taoism, the works in this period were mostly related to religion.Long Qing Dynasty only six years, so Jingdezhen kiln fired little porcelain.Wanli dynasty lasted for 48 years, is the longest in the reign of the emperor of the ming dynasty, the variety of burning, all of which can be produced in large quantities, can be verified from a large number of handed down from the world.The last three dynasties of the Ming Dynasty were Taichang, Apocalypse and Chongzhen.The three dynasties were in a turbulent period of political turmoil, when the official kiln rarely existed in the world.