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Pair of Teabowls with Bamboo

A work made of porcelain painted in underglaze blue and overglaze enamels (doucai).
CC0 Public Domain Designation

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  • A work made of porcelain painted in underglaze blue and overglaze enamels (doucai).


Qing dynasty (1644–1911), Yongzheng reign mark and period (1723–1735)



About this artwork

These eggshell-thin bowls represent an exquisite example of the technique known as doucai (dovetailing or contending colors), in which underglaze-blue outlines are partly filled with overglaze enamel colors. Outlines of bamboo were painted in cobalt and covered with a transparent glaze before firing. The leaves were then colored with pale green, yellow, and red enamels, and the bowls refired at a lower temperature.

Bamboo, which remains green throughout the year and whose hollow stems bend without breaking, has traditionally been viewed in China as a poignant image of human resilience. The elegant depiction of nature on these teabowls was undoubtedly inspired by China’s long tradition of bamboo paintings on silk and paper.


On View, Gallery 134


Arts of Asia


Pair of Teabowls with Bamboo


China (Object made in)

Date  Dates are not always precisely known, but the Art Institute strives to present this information as consistently and legibly as possible. Dates may be represented as a range that spans decades, centuries, dynasties, or periods and may include qualifiers such as c. (circa) or BCE.



Porcelain painted in underglaze blue and overglaze enamels (doucai)


Diam.: 9.5 cm (3 3/4 in.); Each: H.: 4.4 cm (1 3/4 in.)

Credit Line

Bequest of Henry C. Schwab

Reference Number


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