BLUE AND WHITE BOWL
KANGXI PERIOD (1662-1722)
11.3 cm diameter, 6 cm high
The small bowl rises from a slightly tapering foot to spreading sides with a widely flaring rim. The exterior is painted in underglaze blue with a continuous scene of two fishermen eating and drinking at a river bank. Behind tall reeds there is a third fisherman in a boat facing the river and a rocky shore emerging from misty clouds. The interior is painted in the center with a single fishermen in a wide landscape. The base is inscribed in underglaze blue with a six-character Chenghua mark within a double circle. The rim is dressed brown.
The scene painted on the present bowl captures a moment of relaxation and joy among the two fishermen who are having a picnic with bowls and chopsticks scattered around. It is most likely that the scene is painted directly after a woodblock print from an album by the artist Chen Hongshou (1598-1652), illustrated in J. Huo, Weisses Gold - Porcelain and Architectural Ceramics from China 1400-1900, Cologne, 2015, p.101, fig.7. On the left page a wucai bottle vase with similar scene bears a poetic inscription referring to fishermen.
Several elements of the present bowl, including the thickness of the porcelain, tonality of the underglaze blue, style of the painting and the brown rim, point to an early Kangxi date of manufacture.