This guan is unusual in having its decoration divided into registers by encircling bands. For a jar with a related central scene of people in a landscape setting, painted in a similarly "tight" manner with a lot of background space, in the Gotoh Art Museum, Japan, see Mayuyama, Seventy Years, vol. 1, Tokyo, 1976, no. 814
One of the scenes illustrated on the present jar is taken from the Western Zhou dynasty legend of King Wen. Among the sages he sought to help him rule his kingdom was Jiangtaigong; the latter, when visited by the king, was found fishing with a straight, rather than crooked hook and when asked why, replied he was trying to catch "bigger fish"