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Jar

백자호 (白磁壺)

1700s
Overall: 34.3 cm (13 1/2 in.); Outer diameter: 31.6 cm (12 7/16 in.)
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Location: not on view

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Known as a “moon” jar, this vessel is named for its circular form and color.

Description

This white jar reflects values of frugality and pragmatism, political ideals encouraged by the ruling house’s government. The absence of underglaze cobalt blue decoration could be the artist’s response to the socioeconomic crisis caused by famines in the late 1600s. The Korean ruling house then enforced strict laws banning luxuries, including cobalt blue, to preserve state finances. Such challenges did not stop the artist from experimenting with a new aesthetics. The concept of minimalism, often phrased as “less is more,” is powerfully exercised in this jar.
Jar

Jar

1700s

Korea, Joseon dynasty (1392–1910)

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Joseon Pottery

Storage Vessel

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