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Hybrid gene in blue-and-white porcelain | china shengjiang blue ande white porcelain/ceramics

Hybrid gene in blue-and-white porcelain

The blue-and-white porcelain continuously introduces and absorbs the technology and culture and art of the Islamic region. Its occurrence, development and prosperity are closely related to the foreign culture and economic exchanges.


Blue-and-white porcelain, also known as white-ground blue-and-white porcelain, is a cobalt ore containing cobalt oxide as raw material, painted on porcelain, and then covered with a transparent glaze, high-temperature reduction flame once fired.Cobalt is blue after firing and has the characteristics of strong coloring, bright color, high firing rate and stable color.

At present, the earliest blue-and-white porcelain specimens were found in the Tang Dynasty.The mature blue-and-white porcelain appeared in Yuan Dynasty.Qing Hua became the mainstream of porcelain in Ming Dynasty.The period of Qing Kangxi reached its peak.

During the Ming and Qing Dynasties, the varieties of blue and white, malachite green glaze blue, bean green glaze blue, red green, yellow ground blue and goose glaze blue and white were also created.


Ceramics is the link between the two worlds of the Middle Ages, and a bridge between the East and the West.

The foreign exchange of ancient Chinese ceramics began in the Han, Jin and Six Dynasties, developed in the Sui, Tang, Song and Yuan Dynasties, and flourished in the Ming and Qing Dynasties. The ocean exchange area gradually expanded from the island arc of East Asia to the two sides of the Indian Ocean and even the two sides of the Atlantic Ocean.

In the course of the development of blue-and-white porcelain industry, it is the crystallization of cultural and economic exchanges between China and Islam.

Mingyongle blue-and-white flower pattern pot

Height: 38.8 cm, aperture: 7.4 cm, foot diameter: 11.5 cm

Palace Museum Collection

In the early Ming Dynasty, there were many people who imitate Islamic silver and bronze ware. In addition to holding pots, they also had folding basin, flower pouring, plate seat, candlestick, flat-belly bottle and so on.This artifact is shaped like an Islamic silver injection.


Blue and white are not the most popular colors in the Han culture.The blue-and-white porcelain’s color and under-glaze decoration technology differs greatly from the traditional Chinese porcelain’s single-tone and depiction decoration, even the appearance of blue-and-white porcelain is a break with the traditional Chinese porcelain production technology.


Blue and white porcelain was not popular at first, and Cao Zhao of Ming Dynasty said in the book Ge Gu Yao Lun, which was written in Hongwu for 20 years.


“Royal clay kiln, the body is thin and moist the best. A well-folded waist, the body of the hair mouth is thin, white and moist, especially good, its price is low, in the fixed (utensil). Yuan Dynasty burning small footprints, there are ‘pivot house’ the word high, new burning big, sufficient, poor. There are blue and five colors, and very vulgar.” ”


Cao’s description reflects the attitude of the scholars towards the blue-and-white porcelain, which was clearly unpopular with the Han gentry, who thought the porcelain with “blue” and “five-colored flowers” was very vulgar.Similarly, the “GeGu Yao Lun” on the “Great Food Kiln” evaluation is _


“With the copper body, the five colors of the flowers burned with drugs and Fulang inlay similar, taste the censer vase, such as cangzi, but the lady’s boudoir in use, non-Shi Fu room also clean play, also known as the national kiln.”


The scholars who evaluate the “Big Food Kiln” in this way will not have a better view of cloisonné, which originated from “Big Food Kiln” technology. Because, this kind of utensil with rich foreign style does not accord with the aesthetic habit that grows in the atmosphere of farming culture gentry.


The view in GeGu Yao Lun is the representative evaluation of blue-and-white porcelain by gentry in late Yuan and early Ming Dynasty, but this evaluation gradually changes with time.


By the middle of the Ming Dynasty, people would have appreciated and loved blue-and-white porcelain and gave it a high evaluation.


Zhang Yingwen of Ming Dynasty praised Xuande Qinghua in “The Secret Collection of Qing Dynasty”


“I go to Xuanmiao kiln ware, the material thin thick, hidden orange peel lines, ice-torn eel blood lines, several with officials, you kiln enemies. That is, dark flowers, red flowers, green flowers, have not, for a generation.”

Ming Xuande Qinghua Kuiguan dragon pattern pot

Height 19 cm, aperture 15.8 cm, foot diameter 13.8 cm.

Palace Museum Collection


Xuande when the use of green materials according to Ming Wanli Wang Shimao “peep out of the sky” and Huang Yizheng “things blue beads” in the record as” Su Ma Liqing”, this kind of green material containing high iron content, low manganese content, in a moderate kiln atmosphere after firing can show the bright color of sapphire blue, but because of the high iron content, On the blue and white color often forms the non-uniform black crystal spots, and the gorgeous blue each other, increases its artistic charm.The blue-and-white color of this jar has this time characteristic.


This shift of attitude has much to do with the growing prosperity of external communication.


Blue and white are the most popular colors in the Arab and Islamic regions.Ali Mazahai, a prominent Iranian scholar of commercial law, said that blue was the royal color of the peoples of Lower Persia and Persia.As a result, blue appears as a noble color at religious sites, palaces and funerals in the Islamic region.The domes, doorposts and exterior walls of mosques across the Islamic region are decorated in varying degrees with blue.


In addition, according to ancient Chinese documents, the peoples of the Western Regions, as well as the peoples of Central Asia and Western Asia, who had frequent contacts with them, were different in their understanding of the white color from those of the Han nationality, which took the white color as the “auspicious color”.After a long period of accumulation of the aesthetic tradition of blue and white, blue and white have become these ethnic groups to meet the needs of religion, kingship and custom.This is the main reason Central Asia, Islam and the Middle East like “blue and white porcelain”.In addition to the collection of King Abbas’s own, the Ming blue-and-white porcelain collected by the Temple of Adelbier in Iran is also a collection of Safei aristocrats and dignitaries, who usually bore their own marks on blue-and-white porcelain, suggesting that in the Middle Ages, in the Islamic region, Blue and white porcelain is a precious treasure.


A very important raw material in blue-and-white porcelain glaze is blue-and-white cobalt.The Shanghai Silicate Research Institute of the Chinese Academy of Sciences conducted a scientific experiment on the Tang Dynasty blue-and-white porcelain pillow unearthed in Yangzhou.


“Tang blue-and-white porcelain color elements for low iron, low manganese, low copper cobalt material, and domestic high manganese cobalt material is obviously different. From its low manganese characteristics, and Jingdezhen Yuan blue-and-white porcelain color similar.”


Through further scientific tests, it is proved that the cobalt material used in the sample is characterized by low iron, low manganese and low copper, which is sulfur-containing and belongs to the cobalt ore. By comparing with the cobalt ore composition in the world, it is concluded that the cobalt material in the Tang Dynasty is not derived from China and has two possible sources.


One kind is the merchant obtains from the Central Asia or Gansu and so on, pass through the silk road;


The other is obtained by chance in the cobalt sulfide ore and chalcopyrite associated mine area in one part of Hebei Province.


From the characteristics of blue-and-white porcelain decoration, archaeological discoveries, sales objects and the background of the times, there is no doubt that the Qing-hua Tang Dynasty and the Middle and Near East and other foreign civilization in the close collision.


Since the Yuan Dynasty, the main communication object between China and the western region was the Arab-Islamic region, and the main products of the exchange were usually made by blue-and-white porcelain.This trend was further developed to the extreme by the tributary trade system initiated by Zheng He in the early Ming Dynasty.

The blue-and-white porcelain is widely exported to the Islamic region, where it is popular with kings and nobles, and among ordinary people, the main decorative style of the early Jingdezhen blue-and-white porcelain was designed to adapt to this market.

The export of blue-and-white porcelain has promoted the exchange of Chinese and foreign blue-and-white materials and technologies.The production of blue-and-white porcelain in this period has reached a new level in both production and quality, and it is known as the “golden age” of blue-and-white porcelain because of the fineness of its embryo, glaze, the richness of blue-and-white flowers, the variety of its shape and the beauty of its decoration.

China’s blue-and-white porcelain has firmly established its dominant position in the world porcelain market, and has climbed to the top of the world art hall again and again.


Most of the pigment used in the early stage of blue-and-white porcelain was produced in the Arab-Islamic region.Blue-and-white pigment is the colorant for firing blue-and-white porcelain, and different cobalt materials directly affect the aesthetic value and artistic effect of blue-and-white porcelain due to their color differences.


It was not until the middle of the Yuan Dynasty that the imported “Su Ma Li Qing” material appeared, and it was widely used in the blue and white porcelain craft, especially in the official kiln porcelain used exclusively for the royal family and the export porcelain for foreign trade.


Recorded in the Ming Dynasty literature “Seeing the Extra-Tiandi”


“I have set it up in Jingdezhen, Yongle and Xuande, in Fuliang County, and it is very expensive to burn it. At that time, the bristles and eyes were always sweet and white, and the hemp was used as decoration and the bright red was the treasure.”


As the Yuan Dynasty opened to the outside world, many Arabs transported the precious stones and spices of the Arab region to China on the Silk Road and then Chinese silk and porcelain to the Arab region for sale.When they found that the “Su Ma Li Qing” made in Islam was more beautiful than the current pigment used in blue and white porcelain, they brought it to China for trial use.This will try out the brilliant peak of china’s blue-and-white porcelain.


“Su Ma Li Qing” in the high temperature firing, hair color dark blue green, produced natural halo of materials, dark crystal spots, glistening gem luster, color depth in the fetal bones, forming a condensed crystal point, the three-dimensional sense is very strong, the hands of the mold, has a bumpy feeling.Because of the unique characteristics of “Su Ma Li Qing” material, it is widely used in the production of official kilns from the middle period of Yuan Dynasty to the early period of Ming Dynasty.


In particular, Zheng He, an outstanding navigator of the Ming Dynasty, brought back a large amount of “Su Ma Li Qing” material from Arab countries for seven “voyages” from Yongle to Xuande from three years to eight years.


The research on the source of cobalt in Yuan and early Ming Dynasty kilns of Jingdezhen was first started in England.


Scholars at the Archaeological Laboratory of the Oxford University Museum proposed in 1956 that cobalt from the 14th century (Yuan to early Ming) was derived from Islam and was discovered only in China in the early 15th century.


For the Yuan Qinghua, the academic view is quite consistent.Most of the fine Yuan blue and white ware is made of imported cobalt, although the Ming Dynasty Yongle, Xuande blue and white porcelain used cobalt materials imported green material, domestic green material, both and used in the same thing on three cases, but the most used is imported green material.


Dazhi Tao Shu of Jiangxi Province


“The return green pure is dispersible and does not receive, the stone green adds much color heavy but not bright. Each two adds stone blue one money, is above the green. Four or six points adds, is said in the green. The medium green is used to color, then the pen road is clear. The green is used to mix water, the color is bright. The true green is mixed on the blank, such as gray. The stone blue is more black.” ”


The document records that at that time, the collocation of green materials and the effect of color has been very good to grasp.During the Yuan and Ming Dynasties, China’s ceramic export trade was more prosperous than ever due to the large production of blue-and-white porcelain in Jingdezhen.Clearly, Ming Dynasty and Central and Western Asia close to the sea and land tributary trade, constitute a blue-and-white porcelain in the vast Islamic region of the complete trade circle, this phenomenon has a very far-reaching impact on the ceramic cultural exchanges between the two sides.


The patterns of blue and white porcelain have absorbed a great deal of Arabic style.


In Yuan and Ming Dynasties, the patterns of blue-and-white porcelain, in addition to traditional Chinese patterns such as landscape, characters, flowers and birds, also have patterns and curly grass patterns and other typical Arabic decorations.From the middle of the Yuan Dynasty, blue-and-white porcelain, decorated in Islamic and Arabic languages, experienced Ming and Yongle, Xuande, Chenghua, Zhengde and other dynasties.

The Shanghai Museum, the Taipei Palace Museum, Japan and the Middle East countries have many similar species collection, is our country Yuan, Ming Dynasty and Islamic countries economic and cultural friendly exchanges precious witness.

Islamic culture “worships Allah alone and opposes idolatry”, so “in their mosques. Almost all are plants and geometric patterns, and there are no portraits or statues of people or animals. But Arab artists, with their own ingenuity, use the Arabic alphabet and geometric patterns to decorate the mosque in splendor. ”


In the design decoration of Islamic culture, the theme used is plant and flower, it often adopts the elaborate tangled technique pattern, mainly with the soft and beautiful curve, regularly develops the spreading plant pattern such as flower, fruit, leaf, vine and so on.This characteristic and aesthetic orientation are also reflected in the blue-and-white porcelain of Yongle and Xuande.


Arab calligraphy is also one of the decorative themes on the Evergreen blue-and-white porcelain, it through the collocation of points and lines and the endless combination of changes, the layout of ups and downs, with a smooth rhythm of beauty.The blue-and-white recumbent bowl, the blue-and-white steeple and the aforementioned blue-and-white folded-over-the-wall ware are decorated in Arabic and are the works of the rich representatives of this period.


Muslims have always attached more importance to astronomy and mathematics, and with the development of agriculture and navigation, their astronomy is more developed.Mathematics is also closely related to astronomy, and so Arab mathematics has developed to a higher level.The geometric decoration system they created showed a preference for and understanding of mathematical abstract thinking.From blue-and-white porcelain to decoration, geometric arrangements are almost ubiquitous.In graphics are common octagonal star series, variant graphics, hexagonal, pentagonal, triangular, prismatic, circular, eight, hexagonal, checkerboard grid, I, and so on.

blue-and-white flower-and-fruit pattern pot

Ming Yongle Period

Height: 26.1 cm, aperture: 6.4 cm, foot diameter: 9.8 cm

National Museum of China


This modelling imitates the west Asia copper article pattern, is one of the Yongle Xuande period incinerates one of typical objects, has the green flower, the white glaze variety.Steady and dignified shape, bright and bright blue and white, clear and smooth decorative.


The shape of the blue-and-white porcelain has absorbed a great deal of Islamic style.The blue-and-white flower-and-fruit patterns collected by the National Museum of China are novel in shape and exquisite in shape. The Arabs use them to wash their hands or water flowers. Muslims in China call them “soup jars” and are often printed on halal plates as a symbol of halal food.

The three-foot furnace in Arabic for “Tianshun Nian Datong” and the three-foot furnace in Arabic for “Tianshun Nian”, which is collected by the Museum of Beijing Official Museum, are all standard furnaces for Islam in the Arab region.

The Ming-Yong-Le-Qing Arabic plate set in Beijing’s Palace Museum consists of three layers, with one layer painted with deformed petals, the upper and lower layers painted with Arabic and a mass pattern, which is made of an imitation of Islamic metal.

Such as Turkey’s Tobka Museum collection of the Yuan Qinghua Chen Bao flower groove large bowl, its bowl diameter up to 40.5 cm.Turkey’s Tobka Museum and Iran’s Adibir Palace collection of the large Yuan Qinghua, its diameter is as large as 57 cm.

According to Ming Ma Huan “Yingzhou” in the record: “with the plate full of rice, pour butter soup, with the hand pinch in the mouth to eat.” This shows this kind of large bowl, the market is to adapt to the Central Asia, West Asia Muslims’ eating habits and special cooking.


Blue-and-white porcelain was exported to the Arab-Islamic region.Yuan Qing Hua is now in our country in the world is generally small objects, and the heavy and heavy, high-tech treasures such as large bottles, jars, bowls, large plates and other domestic survival less, but in the Middle East, West Asia and the East African coast there are remaining.