China and Inner Asia

Organized Panel Session

4 - Auspicious Icons: White Porcelain Sculptures in the Mongol-Yuan Court

Thursday, March 22
7:30 PM - 9:30 PM
Location: Washington Room 2, Exhibit Level

The production of extremely fine, large, Buddhist figures in qingbai porcelain was a significant development at the Jingdezhen kilns during the Yuan dynasty (1271–1368). These delicately and elaborately modelled sculptures, often large in size, are generally assumed to have been made for only a brief period, during the late 13th and early 14th centuries when the Mongols ruled China. Several significant examples of qingbai glazed porcelain sculptures are currently preserved in international collections. This paper examines the sudden and short-lived appearance of large porcelain Buddhist sculptures in Yuan China to shed new light on their use and significance. It will be argued that the manufacture of these impressive porcelain sculptures was a direct result of Mongol patronage of Tibetan Buddhism and the Jingdezhen kilns and that white porcelain Buddhist images were used for Tibetan Buddhist rituals and ceremonies at the Yuan imperial court.

Heena Youn

Peking University, Not Applicable, China

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4 - Auspicious Icons: White Porcelain Sculptures in the Mongol-Yuan Court



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