Tuesday, 11 January 2011
Moon Jars again
This one is from the British Museum
'This jar is a magnificent example of the ceramic art of the Choson dynasty (1392-1910). At this time, plain white porcelain represented the epitome of austere Confucian taste. As the scholar Yi Kyu-gyong wrote, 'the greatest merit of white porcelain lies in its absolute purity'.'
The jar also testifies to the admiration of two of the greatest twentieth-century British potters for Korean wares. It was bought in an antique shop in Seoul by Bernard Leach (1887-1979) in 1935, on one of his visits from Japan. He gave it to Lucie Rie (1902-95), who on her death bequeathed it to Janet Leach. The British Museum acquired it from her estate in 1999. They also acquired a letter from Bernard Leach to Rie, in which he asks her to collect the jar from a friend's house and look after it during the Second World War (1939-45). In the event, when Leach saw the jar in Rie's studio, he decided that it should remain there. A portrait by Lord Snowdon shows Rie, dressed all in white herself, seated beside the pot.
Excerpt from the British Museum