Title:VaseArtist:Artist UnknownDate:618-799Creation Place:Asia, ChinaCredit Line:Gift of Mary Ann and Arnold GinnowAccession Number:94.31
This finely crazed, or crackled celadon exemplifies the best Chinese monochromes, whose beauty depends on their well-proportioned, restrained shapes and flawless, single-color glazes. In fact, the visual subtleties of monochromes stand in stark contrast to the polychromed exuberance of T'ang tomb figurines. The T'ang preference for monochrome ceramics was rooted in the sophisticated tastes of the previous Sui dynasty (589-618) and its admiration for certain all-white wares. By discarding the complex shapes and flamboyant ornament associated with western Asiatic taste, T'ang potters created green, white and black ceramics that reassert a native preference for simple forms and single uniform colors. These aesthetic values, in turn, led to the great celadon and monochrome porcelains of the subsequent Sung and Ch'ing dynasties.