Prunus Vase with Blue-and-White Designs of Three Endurable Plants of Winter, Flower and Bird Made in Wanli's Reign of Ming


The vase is large and tall. The blue-and-white decorations are graceful in the bluish gray color. The themed designs painted on the belly include three endurable plants of winter, flowers and birds. The evergreen pine, modest and upright bamboo, and unyielding plum blossoms in harsh conditions are usually used by ancient Chinese artists to compare with pure and lofty character and faithful chastity, which were pursued by men of letters. The pines in the painting are tall and upright with forceful branches. Clusters of pine-needles are hung on the branches; sparsely scattered emerald-green bamboos constitute a small bamboo grove. Bamboo poles rise joint by joint, which are of great tension that can bend without breaking; the slightly shorter old plum trees put forth numerous new branches stretching directly toward the sky. The budding blossoms are scattered, and several plum blossoms burst forth on the branches. Flocks of birds flutter up and down, twittering among the pine and bamboo woods and playing to their heart's content. White clouds are piled upon one another in the clear sky, which present a scene full of vitality with fine and warm weather and gentle breezes.