A dark passageway through a building reveals a distant view of figures on both sides of a canal. In the foreground, the building is sketched in to show a vine growing up and over the passageway at the left, and an arched window at the right side; above the passage on the second floor two figures are seen silhouetted in an open window.
This composition shares the essentials of "The Traghetto No. 2", with its passageway, distant view, and figures at the front of the passage. The theme views framed with doorways dates back to the "French Set" and "The Limeburner" from the "Thames Set" and is central to Whistler's image making. Here the darkness and deep recession of the passage and silhouetted figure at the far end is contrasted with the flat, mural character of the foreground entrance, windows, and vine.
Dark brown glaze has been dripped over the pot from above, allowing it to flow unevenly so that the lighter clay body shows through in an unpredictable pattern. The jar appears rounded in gradations, and has a small circular lid, as well as base.
In the late Joseon period, lidded jars such as this one were kept in every household in Korea to store homemade pickles and condiments. This is an especially handsome example.
Limestone slab carved bas-relief with six registers. The lower register depicts a chariot procession above fish-inhabited waters. The central three registers depict figures carrying out funerary rites. The top register shows a winged creature with a human face flanked by two writhing dragons and other animals, including two rabbits and a nine-tailed fox.
This magnificent carved limestone slab was originally part of a memorial hall or tomb. It portrays the vertical ascent of the soul of the deceased from earth toward the “Happy Homeland” or heavenly abode of the Queen Mother of the West.
On the lower register of the carving, the soul of the tomb occupant rides in a chariot procession. The fish-inhabited waters indicate his earthly surroundings. In the central three registers the family and friends of the deceased are shown carrying out the proper funerary rites that will insure the success of his journey. The Queen Mother herself, shown as a winged creature with a human face, dominates the top row. She is flanked by two writhing dragons and other heavenly immortals, including two rabbits, who reside on the moon and are shown pounding rice cakes, and an auspicious nine-tailed fox, associated with the sun.
The Queen Mother of the West was the subject of a very popular cult during the Eastern Han Dynasty, when concerns about immortality reached a new and feverish pitch.
A medium size, shallow bowl with a semi-circular cut out on the rim. The bowl has flat surface on the rim and is concaved in the middle like a soup bowl. It has two holes on the opposite side of the cut out and a short foot. There is a blue band around the rim. There are two long-tailed birds in red, pale orange and yellow, perched on a blue pine tree which grows underneath the birds. Behind the pine tree trunk, there is a cherry tree in full blossom, its brunches extends in circle around the rim. The cherry tree and blossoms are in red, pale orange and yellow. More cherry flowers adorn the background of the birds. There are also red peonies on the left side of the pine tree; peony flowers also appear as spray on the four sides of the rim, backed by blue cloud design.
Combination of birds and flowers is popular motif called “bird-and-flower” painting in East Asian cultures. The two birds and cherry blossoms suggest that this is a spring scene. The cut out is where a person places his neck, and the two holes opposite the neck recess are used to string the cord around the neck during shaving. Pewter and silver shaving basins were common toilet articles in mid 17th century Europe and were ordered by the Dutch East India Company as early as 1662. (Reference: Imari: Japanese Porcelain for European Palaces from the Freda and Ralph Lupin Collection)