In the forest of porcelain

One of the wonderful images in this production of Stravinsky's Rossignol is a Forbidden City built of gigantic jars of porcelain. In the Gulbenkian there is a forest of gigantic jars of porcelain:

Wondering through it -- or rather circumambulating it -- one can snatch different glimpses of this jar:

It is about 2.5 ft tall and is decorated in exquisitely painted and flawlessly fired famille verte. The topic of the decoration are auspicious birds -- cranes, phoenixes, peacocks, hawks, etc. -- and each symbollizes a different virtue. I am guessing it was produced to celebrate an important anniversary of an important figure -- its recipient -- and was meant to suggest that he possessed all the virtues represented on the jar.


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