About this artwork
These eggshell-thin bowls represent an exquisite example of the technique known as doucai (dovetailing or contending colors), in which underglaze-blue outlines are partly filled with overglaze enamel colors. Outlines of bamboo were painted in cobalt and covered with a transparent glaze before firing. The leaves were then colored with pale green, yellow, and red enamels, and the bowls refired at a lower temperature.
Bamboo, which remains green throughout the year and whose hollow stems bend without breaking, has traditionally been viewed in China as a poignant image of human resilience. The elegant depiction of nature on these teabowls was undoubtedly inspired by China’s long tradition of bamboo paintings on silk and paper.
- Pair of Teabowls with Bamboo
- Porcelain painted in underglaze blue and overglaze enamels (doucai)
- Each: h. 4.4 cm (1 3/4 in.); diam. 9.5 cm (3 3/4 in.)
- Bequest of Henry C. Schwab