The Jiajing emperor was a faithful disciple of Daoism. The imperial partiality sparked a wave of enthusiasm for Daoist religion throughout the empire, and set a fashion in the decorative arts. Motifs relating to Daoism were most favourably employed in the decoration of ceramics as seen in this dish decorated in a rich blue with the motif of the Three Friends (prunus, pine and bamboo). The Three Friends are symbolic of independence, endurance and integrity. This new type of bright, strong blue was made from cobalt known as Mohammedan blue.
The Asian Collections, AGNSW, 2003, pg.121.
Shallow dish with 'three friends' motif
porcelain with underglaze blue decoration
3.2 x 17.6 cm
Gift of Florence Marks, Orwell Phillips and Barbara Selby 1980
Where the work was made
Shown in 1 exhibition
Conversations through the Asian collections, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 25 Oct 2014–28 Feb 2016
Referenced in 3 publications
Ann Macarthur, Inspirations - Art ideas for primary and middle years, Carlton South, 2004, cover (colour illus.), 10 (colour illus.). card 10
Jackie Menzies, Three years on: a selection of acquisitions 1978-1981, 'Asian Art', pg. 85-103, Sydney, 1981, 90 (illus.). cat.no. 6
Jackie Menzies (Editor), The Asian Collections Art Gallery of New South Wales, 'The Marvel of Porcelain', Sydney, 2003, 121 (colour illus.).