In the centre of the interior is a five-clawed descending dragon among lotus flowers. On the sides are two chrysanthemum and six peony floral designs. The design of dragons amongst floral motifs on porcelain first appeared on Yue ware of the Five dynasties (906-960). This motif enjoyed great popularity during the Ming dynasty, employed mostly on blue and white porcelain, and was often copied in the Qing dynasty. Being the most common flower in Chinese design, the lotus was viewed as a symbol of purity and integrity by Confucian scholars and an emblem of Buddhism. The application of chrysanthemums and peonies, representing autumn and spring respectively, alludes to the cyclical relationship of yin and yang.
Asian Art Department, AGNSW, January 2012
Jingdezhen ware plate with dragon-among-flowers design
Place where the work was made
late 17th century-early 18th century
porcelain decorated in underglaze blue
6.5 x 39.2 cm
Bequest of Alan Renshaw 1975
Not on display
Where the work was made
Shown in 2 exhibitions
Chinese porcelain of the Ming and Ch'ing dynasties, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 18 Feb 1977–26 Jun 1977
Dragon (2012), Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 18 Jan 2012–06 May 2012
Referenced in 3 publications
J. Hepburn Myrtle, Chinese porcelain of the Ming and Ch'ing dynasties, Sydney, 1977, 8, 27. cat.no. 44. See Further Information for text.
Jackie Menzies (Editor), The Asian Collections Art Gallery of New South Wales, 'The Marvel of Porcelain', Sydney, 2003, 125 (colour illus.).
Julian Thompson, Orientations, 'Chinese Porcelain in the Collection of the Art Gallery of New South Wales', pg. 96-103, Hong Kong, Sep 2000, 101 (illus.; colour illus.). fig.8 and 8a (mark)