Celadon Soul Vase

Song Dynasty
Three Gorges Museum, Chongqing

This sophisticated object is the result of a long process of development going all the way back to the Han dynasty (see previous pages). Technically, it is a greyish celadon glaze over a high-fired porcelaneous body. Functionally, as its name implies, it was a kind of home for the departed soul. Artistically, the elegantly slender vase is enriched by a fully three-dimensional design of dragon and standing deities perched above paired-spiral clouds.