Dancing pork bellies

I don't know who Francisco Capelo is, but the man sure has taste. Wow. Taste most commensurate with his (obviously) pretty ample financial firepower, too: the show of his Chinese pottery collection at the Madre de Deus (a.k.a. Museu Nacional de Azulejo)-- that would be Mister Tile Museum to you -- is a merciless progression of take-no-prisoners masterpieces.

Through this magical forest the (very) occasional French, German or Spanish tourist marches briskly with barely the time for an occasional snapshot.

I carried away 450 photos. Here are five.

This piece is a tripod censer with a purple-splashed jun-ware glaze, Jin or Yuan dynasty, ca. 13th century, 7.3 cm high. It is also a meibutsu, having once been owned by the Moris of Hiroshima.

Look at the detail of the crackle (and, as they say on porn websites, "click to enlarge yourself"):

The mouth is a kind of blunderbuss -- it's pure pornography, really -- :

And look at this lady's stubby feet jammed into the world's pointiest stilettos:

Would not these tiny trotters make the world's most delicious pie-de-cochon?

And do be my guest, go ahead, take a prurient peek (in the privacy of your cabin) at her incredibly erotic belly (no, love, please, never lose a gram of weight, do not, I repeat, do not change a thing):


Jun wares -- writes the catalog learnedly, if ungrammatically -- are among the most fascinating and controversial Chinese ceramics. Unlike most greenish- or bluish glazed wares, which rely for their color on mineral oxides, it turns out to be very difficult to understand how the typical thickly-bubbled Jun glaze generates its characteristic opalescent blue color. Current theory holds that it is generated by a phenomenon called "liquid-liquid phase separation" in which glasses in the glaze separate out within other glasses during cooling. When light strikes the glaze, it is scattered by the glass-like particles in the glaze and produces the same sort of effect as when light from the sun is scattered by the atmosphere and appears blue to our eyes.

There, fellows, the girl wears the sky for a dress.


The Francisco Capelo of the collection is probably not this Francisco Capelo, but I rather liked the idea that he might be: "Yeah," his collection set by side with his portfolio would be telling us, "I sell this stuff because I can -- God only knows why; and also because I just don't want to keep it around the house (I mean, would you?); then I use the proceeds to buy something of universal and eternal value whose quality I could not hope to match in a thousand years. For me, it is a win-win situation."

(In financial markets, this would be termed arbitrage).


chris miller said...

Please show us the other 445 pictures!

I like this sexy little pot -- but can't help seeing it as a comic character in an animated cartoon. (must have watched too many of those as a kid)

Sir G said...

well, comic catoons obviously have their place!

Andrew W. said...

Actually, that's funny, because when I saw this pot I also thought that it looked like something out of a Silly Symphony or some other 1930's cartoon...it's a beautiful piece.

Sir G said...

What the authors of silly symphony -- and most subsribers to the Metropolitan opera -- do not know is that most art is plain silly. Hard to find a more funny art form that the opera, come to think of it: indeed, it silly in the extreme. How could anyone take that stuff seriously? I don´t mean just fat divas, how about the libretti?

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