Chinese Ceramics Gallery (Eastern Han-Song Dynasty)

By the Eastern Han period (25-220), low-fired lead-glazed pottery such as green or brown-glazed ware were made in large quantities for mortuary vessels. The production techniques of celadon were also established during this period. During the Six Dynasties period (220-589), celadon continued to develop, diversifying its types of form. By the end of the Northern Dynasty, production of white porcelain began at the northern region of China. White porcelain of Xing Yao appears on historical literature as masterpieces, along with celadon of Yue ware. The practice of elaborate funerals became more and more popular, decorating the tombs with various ceramics including colored gray ware and gorgeous three-color glazed ware. Tang three-color glazed ware is the most magnificent ware among the history of Chinese ceramics, the forms and decorative techniques of which conspicuously reveal influence from West Asia. During the successive dynasties from the Five Dynasties to the Northern Song, elaborate celadon wares were produced at Yue kilns.
The Song dynasty (960-1279) is the golden age of the history of Chinese ceramics. All production techniques reached the state of perfection, and workers in different regions vied with one another in their skills. In northern China, Northern Song Guan ware that was made exclusively for the court, Ru ware and Ding porcelain are the most notable wares, followed by Yaozhou ware and privately produced Cizhou-type ware. In 1125, the invasion of the Jin forced the Song Royal family to move to the south, establishing the capital in Hanzhou. Southern Song celadon for imperial use began to be produced here. Important ceramics produced in southern China include Longquan celadon, tenmoku bowls of the Jian and Jizhou ware and blue-and-white ware of the Jingdezhen ware. Song ceramics are said to be the quintessence of oriental ceramics from their high aesthetic quality, which was perfected with the harmonization of refined form, mature glaze color and elegant decoration.