Title:Dragon jarArtist:Artist UnknownDate:Choson dynastyCreation Place:Asia, KoreaCredit Line:The Willliam Hood Dunwoody FundAccession Number:99.168
Unlike the vicious, fire-breathing beasts of Western mythology, Koreans believed that dragons defeated evil and brought rain for bountiful harvests. In both China and Korea, five-clawed dragons were emblematic of the emperor, and ceramics, paintings, and robes bearing five-clawed dragons were reserved for royal use. The dragon on this jar has four claws and thus was probably owned by a court official. Such jars were often produced in pairs and used to decorate formal reception halls.