A glimpse of Korean ceramics (II)

The Joseon Dynasty ruled over a united Korean Peninsula for more than 500 years, from the fall of the Goryeo Dynasty in 1392 through the Japanese Occupation of 1910. The cultural innovations and achievements of Korea’s last dynasty continue to influence Korean society today.

Korean white porcelain became popular in the Royal court of the Joseon period. During the late 15th century, the court established a group of kilns called punwon. Early kilns produced white porcelain with elegant shapes, an impeccable high lustre glaze with a bluish tint, and thinly potted pure porcelain body for exclusive use at the royal court. Although plain white-bodied porcelains were favoured throughout the Joseon period, decorated versions of the same ware were also produced in large quantities.

The blue-and-white wares of the Chinese Ming dynasty served as one model for Korean potters, who adopted the underglaze cobalt-blue decoration. Unlike their Chinese counterparts, the Joseon potters worked closely with court painters to produce vessels with superb paintings rivalling those that survive on paper.

During the Joseon period, ceramic ware was considered to represent the highest quality of achievement from imperial, city, and provincial kilns. This was the golden age of Korean pottery.


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