Bottle with fish design

approx. 1450-1550, Joseon dynasty (1392-1910)

Asian Art Museum

Asian Art Museum
San Francisco, United States

This bottle, with its flared lower body and trumpetlike mouth, is decorated with painted designs in iron brown over white slip. The bottle's white surface is divided into four bands with horizontal lines beginning at the neck. The first band is decorated with parallel broken vertical lines in iron pigment, the second with the double lotus leaf design, the third with a fluid scroll design. The fourth band, occupying the largest portion of the body, is decorated with a fish design interspersed with a long lotus stem with lotus buds.

Fluid and free brushlines evoking a sense of spontaneity and nonchalance indicate that a trained hand painted them. It is believed that buncheong wares painted with semi-abstract designs in iron pigment, such as these fish, were produced by Buddhist monks in the Mount Gyeryong area during the late fifteenth century. Fish might signify not only abundance, but also freedom from all restraints. The small foot is another characteristic of buncheong wares from this area.


  • Title: Bottle with fish design
  • Date Created: approx. 1450-1550, Joseon dynasty (1392-1910)
  • Location Created: Korea
  • Physical Dimensions: H. 30.5 cm x Diam. 16.5 cm
  • Type: Ceramics
  • Medium: Stoneware with painted decoration over white slip
  • Credit Line: The Avery Brundage Collection, B65P63

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