Daoist Symbols of Immortality and Longevity on Late Ming Dynasty Porcelain
Posted on 22. Feb, 2009 by James Miller
|Title||Daoist Symbols of Immortality and Longevity on Late Ming Dynasty Porcelain|
|Publication Type||Journal Article|
|Year of Publication||2008|
|Publisher||Lang; - Lang; - Lang|
|Keywords||Art, Art, French:: - Porcelaine, Immortalit, Immortality, Ritual, Rituel, Symbol, Symbole, Taoism|
This paper explores aspects of Daoist symbolism as found on the ceramics produced during the Jiajing reign (1522-1566) of the late Ming dynasty. In particular, it focuses on the Jiajing Emperor's fascination with religious Daoism as a means of prolonging his life, and how this interest was reflected in the decoration of the ceramics manufactured in his reign. Ceramics with Daoist symbols - for example those bearing the Eight Trigrams - were especially commissioned and used in elaborate Daoist rituals, which had the principal purpose of communicating with the gods who represented the dao ?, or "The Way". Vases in the shape of double-gourds will be discussed in more detail, and their significance explored. This was a particularly popular form during the Jiajing reign, and played an important part in Daoist beliefs. Double-gourds also have interesting connotations in other cultures, and aspects of their appearance in Western art during approximately the same period will also be examined.