Bowl Celadon glaze with carved lotus petals
This is a celadon porcelain bowl which was fired in 12th-century Korea during the Goryeo dynasty. The bowl is linear in shape, opening shallowly upwards, and the petals of a lotus flower encircling the lower section of the bowl are rendered to achieve a relief-like effect. Entirely covered in glaze, the surface of this bowl has a light green luster. The silica stone used to support the bowl during firing has left behind three marks on the bottom.
With Chinese techniques directly introduced to the Korean peninsula, the production of celadon porcelain on the peninsula really took off in the mid-10th century. For some time, the work produced there resembled China’s classic celadon porcelain: Yue ware, which was produced in the Zhejiang province from the 9th-century Tang dynasty to the 11th-century Northern Song dynasty; and Ru ware, which developed in the Henan province from the 10th through to the 11th century during the Northern Song dynasty. Later, the Goryeo dynasty's celadon porcelain production reached its height in the 12th century, and the unique aesthetic sense of the dynasty gradually became the basis for fine products reflecting tastes of the nobles.
The distinctively sharp, embossed carvings of the lotus petals on this work were also faithfully modeled on designs that were popular in China’s Yue ware and Ru ware. This work is certainly a fine example particularly from the perspectives of the influence of Chinese celadon porcelain in the development of Goryeo celadon and tracing the circumstances surrounding its production; but more than anything, the clear-cut features of this bowl seem to contain the unique tension characteristic of Goryeo celadon at the time.