The late Ming to early Qing period witnessed a proliferation of porcelain
which are exceptionally decorated with literati landscape paintings,
such as the present vase, as the affluent literati class in coastal China
replaced the Imperial Household as the dominant patron of the
Jingdezhen kilns following the closing down of the Imperial kilns in the
Wanli reign. Only a very small group of porcelain from the early Kangxi period decorated in the style of the master painter Mi Fu is known,
and the present vase is undoubtedly one of the most remarkable out
of this group, evidenced by the well-controlled brushstrokes and wellstructured
composition, conjuring up an arresting landscape scene
which is enriched by the many different shades of blue while retaining a
subtlety which encapsulates the literati ideal.
Mi Fus paintings were admired and emulated by 17th century Chinese
painters such as Dong Qiching. The style of the mountains on the
present vase can be compared to those in a painting attributed to Dong Qiching, Landscape in the Style of Mi Fu, now in the Metropolitan
Museum of Art, New York. The Kangxi Emperor, who was a staunch
follower of Dong Qichangs school, had also painted landscapes after
the Mi style, such as a painting sold at Christies Hong Kong, 26 April 2004, lot 934.
Compare also to another Kangxi period rouleau vase painted with a
landscape in Mi Fu-style, but in more muted tones of cobalt blue, in the
Julia and John Curtis Collection and sold at Christies New York,
16 March 2015, lot 3578.