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GLOSSARY

Master of the Rocks style

Master of the Rocks style

A Chinese 'Master of the Rocks' dish of circular form, decorated in shades of underglaze blue, expressively painted with towering boulders and pine, two birds in flight, the rim with a pine spray pattern, the reverse painted with further rockwork, the glazed base with an apocryphal six-character mark of Chenghua within a double circle in underglaze blue. Period: Kangxi (1662-1722). Diameter: 20 cm.

Master of the Rocks is a name given to a type of decoration found on early Kangxi porcelain. It has been suggested it was the work of one master decorator, but the variation in style indicates it must have been executed by different hands. The style is characterized by repeated close and parallel lines defining the landscape elements.

The rock masses and twisting rhythm running through the design reflect the painting style of Dong Qichang, a painter of the late Ming period whose style influenced many.

For a plate with this design see for example R.S. Kilburn, Transitional Wares and their Forerunners, The Oriental Ceramic Society of Hong Kong, 1981, p. 95, pl. 102.

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