Why did the Ming Dynasty Chongzhen blue and white porcelain appear a large number of characters story patterns?

In the late Ming Dynasty, the demand of blue-and-white porcelain from all walks of life in China was great, and the export porcelain also had a wide market space. Although the production of imperial kiln nearly stopped, the firing of blue-and-white porcelain from civilian kilns reached a new height.Especially the blue-and-white porcelain of Chongzhen (1628-1644) period has attracted the attention of many researchers and collectors both at home and abroad in recent decades with its rich decorative contents, practical types full of life breath and its unrestrained and meticulous meaning.Especially in Chongzhen Qinghua, a large number of close to the secular aesthetic concept of the characters story theme.

1.Decreased expression of the emperor’s preference pattern, the large number of character story patterns appeared

The so-called “transition period” and “transitional period” in the porcelain dynasty generally refer to 1620 years from the end of Wanli to 1683 years from the early period of Kangxi in the Qing Dynasty, and the first dynasty of Chongzhen is the key period among them.The 17th century in which Chongzhen Dynasty lived was a period of ups and downs and social unrest.Globally, in 17th-century Europe, the long and dark Middle Ages had just passed, and the dawn of the Renaissance had brought about a awakening. Feudal society was gradually disintegrating, replaced by the rise of capitalism and the liberation of the productive forces, which promoted the development of science and technology. The Great Navigation Age has continued to advance.On the contrary, the Ming Dynasty of Daxia is in the midst of internal and external troubles. The domestic political atmosphere is tense and depressed. The literati and officials who are frustrated in the official career are drunk and dream of death.However, social unrest and political darkness do not represent the collapse of culture and art.During the Chongzhen period, the firing of blue-and-white porcelain produced a brilliant spark different from the one hundred years before.

The blue-and-white porcelain decorative theme of the Jiawan period was mostly the elements of immortal Taoism, but this cloud-filled atmosphere of Taoism changed greatly during the Chongzhen period.Chongzhen blue-and-white decoration content rich, the previous official kiln purely expressed the emperor’s will and preferences of the standard pattern gradually reduced, various animal patterns, landscape scenery, character story patterns appeared in large numbers.Especially the subject matter of the characters’ stories, mostly reflects the narrative content such as the drama novels and historical stories, and the secular characters begin to become the protagonists of the blue-and-white figure paintings.In the description of the brush strokes, compared with the Yuan Dynasty, the early Ming and the mid-Ming Dynasty, the same subject-matter of formality, also obviously released hands and feet, characters generally elongated body height, elegant and neat, showing a different style than the previous dynasty, This is the early Qing Dynasty in the blue-and-white figure pattern of porcelain can be seen from the shadow of the continuation of this.

Ming Chongzhen Qinghua opera characters story, slowly spread the picture, we can see a man like an official standing in the garden, one hand holding the waist ring, a finger day, two maids standing behind him, is whispering what.At his feet he knelt a woman, holding one hand on the ground, covering her face with her sleeves, as if sobbing at the man’s sharp reprimand.Behind the maids was the hall of the house, and a woman hid behind the half-closed door and watched what had happened in the garden, and a child tugged at the corner of her dress, with a curious and bewildered look on her face, and beside them stood a maidservant, with a wry brow, who was still waiting with her. There seemed to be an inexplicable smile.

Figure 1-1: Ming Chongzhen Qing Hua opera characters’ story

Figure 2: Ming Chongzhen Qing Hua opera characters story picture, a panoramic view

In the early and mid-Ming Dynasty, there were also many characters’ stories on blue-and-white porcelain, but the contents were mostly traditional historical stories and scenes in Yuan opera, such as the stories of Three Kingdoms, The Story of the Western Chamber and The Book of the Moon Bye, etc.In the late Ming Dynasty, the creation of drama novels was more abundant and varied than that of the Yuan Dynasty. It was an era of unprecedented prosperity and development. After the Yuan Dynasty, the once-small opera appeared new development and produced many works of progressive significance, such as Tang Xianzu’s” Four Dreams in Linchuan “.Ming Dynasty is also a peak in the history of the development of Chinese novels, three of the four classical Chinese classics and “Jin Ping Mei” were born in the middle of the Ming Dynasty, the late Ming Dynasty Feng Menglong’s” three words and two beats” is close to the civil class preferences of the outstanding model of popular novels.Therefore, the people’s aesthetic interest and value orientation in the late Ming Dynasty were reflected in the people’s stories which were close to the secular life.

2.A large number of subjects related to imperial examination officials appeared on blue-and-white porcelain

The Ming Dynasty was the heyday of the imperial examination system, and many students were eager to promote the middle school of the first dynasty.After the mid-Ming Dynasty, a large number of subjects related to imperial examinations also appeared on blue-and-white porcelain.And the social unrest in the late Ming Dynasty, so that the common people’s heart urgent for peace and stability of the desire to be more urgent, this secular prayer and desire, is also the love of the theme of the performance of Chongzhen Qinghua.Ming Chongzhen blue and white asked for a picture cylinder bottle, the picture of a man riding on the horse, one hand with the best of luck, one hand with the signature, his boy carrying bags, the master and servant two seems to be in a hurry to take an examination of or go to office;On one side there was a gentle and kind-hearted face of an old man, with happy eyes and eyes, and a few signatures in his chest. On the other side, the boy was wearing a gourd around his waist.And the characters on the Ming Chongzhen Qing Hua opera story-book finger the sun in the sky, also catered to “the rising of the sun” expectations, is the more common characters at that time.

Figure 3-1: Mingchongzhen blue and white picture cylinder bottle

Figure 4: A panoramic view of the cylinder of Qinghua, Chongzhen, Ming Dynasty

3.Musa, Hemerocallis and Hexanthema symbolize plants in the painting

It is worth noting that the general features of Chongzhen blue-and-white decoration are reflected in both pieces of porcelain.For example, near-mouth and shin, the shoulders and heel of the bottle are decorated with underglaze engraved patterns for a week.The picture shows a moire with a swirl of water (or parenthesis) around the left and right sides, a feature of the era that continues to Shunzhi.In addition, the mouth of the jar and the tibia of the vase are decorated with a week of upside down the size of the banana leaf lines, banana leaves left white in the middle, plus the story of the background picture of the banana, are Chongzhen blue and white decorative patterns with the characteristics of the times.Banana was introduced into China from tropical countries in Southeast Asia in ancient times. After the Southern Song Dynasty, it gradually became a plant symbolizing literati and officials, which appeared widely in literature and art and painting art.With the introduction of Buddhism, the meaning of “emptiness” and” impermanence “in banana is accepted by the public.For example, in the book of Dazheng’s new Dazang Sutra, Achaisei’s Sutra of Bodhisattva, “Life and death are like plantains and men of knowledge are like magic leaves”, which shows the impermanence of life and the world.In the late Ming Dynasty, with the development of commodity economy and citizen class, the image of banana more expressed the meaning of leisurely life of literati class, and the late Ming Dynasty literati’s yearning for hermit life originated from their boredom and helplessness for turbulent life and impermanence. The decorative meaning of banana is implied in it.And there are almost no exceptions in the images of the two objects: the day lily and the sycamore tree.Hemerocallis licheniformis is a fish-scale, small and dense leaves of the tree, left and right symmetrical constitute a small branch, and then a number of branches to radiate form a round, quite characteristic.Ji Kang in the “theory of health” in the cloud: “Huan happy, Hemerocallis forget worry.” The late Ming turbulent social environment, prompting people to Huanhuan, Hemerocallis for decoration, this to avoid the heart because of the war, natural disasters from the annoyance and worry, The reasons for the large-scale appearance of banana on blue-and-white porcelain during this period are the same.

4. Relationship between the painting style of the characters of Chongzhen Qinghua and the painting in the late Ming Dynasty

The previous article has mentioned the social characteristics of the 17th century, and in the field of culture and art, the 17th century is a splendid era.In Europe, it was a period of succession, from the Renaissance to the 19th century.The Baroque style, which originated in Italy and was famous for its enthusiasm and ornate decoration, was also popular in Europe during this period.In China, Chen Chun and Xu Wei in the hands of a large freehand painting, like and not like between a generation to open a river, leading successor countless, and the influence of the print also directly reflected in the production of Chongzhen blue and white porcelain.

The large number of characters’ subject matter in the blue-and-white porcelain has nothing to do with the flourishing literary creation, and the dissemination of these works needs to rely on books as the carrier, which has driven the development of another industry closely related to the engraving industry, i. e. printmaking.The Ming and Qing dynasties were the peak period of Chinese printmaking development. The Ming Dynasty printmaking was not only used in the illustrations of famous literary works, but also used in the paintings and wine labels, etc.Some of the characters’ themes on Chongzhen blue-and-white porcelain are described on the basis of the prints of the same period.At present can be seen in the late Ming Dynasty in the drama novels illustrations, the lines of the characters calm and vigorous, elaborate, strong style, full of strong personality.For example, the lines of the characters in the Ming-Ch ‘ung-zhen Qing-hua opera stories are heavy, light, vigorous, square and straight, and the turns and changes of the lines are strong.The popularity of printmaking characters can also be seen on blue-and-white porcelain.Huizhou printmaking style fine beautiful, thin lines, elegant and elegant, like the image of women on the flower wine as in the printmaking of the same, the body long and soft, curved eyes, expression smile, full of psychological portrayal.In addition, most of the clothes of the characters painted by Chongzhen blue and white porcelain are painted”*” patternThe pattern is also widely seen in the late Ming Dynasty painting, printmaking and other art fields, with distinct characteristics of the times.

The second is the influence of freehand painting style.The thinking characteristic of Chinese people is image thinking, the main characteristic of ink and wash writing is to pay attention to image modeling, pay attention to the charm of ink and brush.The Ming Dynasty is a special stage in which the ancient and innovative consciousness collided, especially after the mid-Ming Dynasty, the Chinese painting set off an anti-traditional trend of thought, the literati painting changed the ancient theory, paid attention to spiritual freedom, individual liberation and emotional catharsis.As one of the important forms of Chinese painting, the free spirit and strong visual impact contained in the large-scale freehand painting are full of oriental charm and modern meaning, which can develop rapidly, especially Xuwei in late Ming Dynasty.Xu Wei Zeng Yun: “To see this painting of Xia Gui, Cang Jie Kuang Jiong, let people give up shape and happy shadow.” Xu Wei’s painting style is the basic pursuit of painting style. His painting style is bold and bold, the pen is simple, the pen is simple, the reality is common, the structure is clear, and melts the vigorous style in the painting, which pushes the painting style to the highest level which can strongly express the inner feelings, and has produced a profound effect on the later generations Impacts.

This influence also goes deep into the creation of porcelain paintings at that time.In the late Ming Dynasty, the painting content, artistic conception and style of the blue-and-white porcelain were in accordance with the style of the literati’s ink painting at that time.Qinghua landscape, characters on the subject matter of the white, reflects the people’s kiln porcelain painting to the literati freehand painting understanding.The painting method on blue and white porcelain in late Ming Dynasty paid more attention to the effect of “shadow” by means of hook, dot and writing.On the basis of “Shetshape”, the object image is abandoned, “not seeking shape like life-seeking rhyme”, creating a visual feeling of “image”, with “image” between the close, near and far, up and down relations to reflect the interest.This kind of deep-seated layout interest in Chongzhen blue-and-white porcelain also got very good performance.Such as the Ming Chongzhen Qing Hua opera figure picture, although the landscape has become the background, but the painting techniques and style has not changed.Although drawing method has hook line, divide water two steps, but the main visual effect is still formed after the separation of water “shadow” outline and “shadow” and “shadow” left between the blank beauty, the vast blank does not make the picture pale and empty, on the contrary, to the viewer brought empty and beautiful psychological feeling.Although these images are far from the reality of life, they are in line with the beauty of vision.As a result of the extensive use of water and faint dyeing techniques, there is a lot of freehand interest, the picture is open, the meaning of the pen is handsome and smooth, not much but the artistic effect is extraordinary, and the rich movement of contemporary painting track and thick light, Xu Ji, size, dry wet, The ink and rhymes of different degrees of denseness are reflected in each other.Some painting techniques, such as dyeing the sun with blue flowers, have the obvious characteristics of the times during this period.

In summary, a large number of characters and stories in Chongzhen Qinghua, which are close to the secular aesthetic concept, are not only influenced by the social environment at that time, but also connected with the art forms such as painting and printmaking in the late Ming Dynasty.The connection between society and art is best reflected in Chongzhen blue-and-white porcelain.