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Spirit Wall

Spirit Wall

On View

Chazen : Gallery : 15 : Case

Unknown

This Spirit Wall originally formed part of an architectural structure that stood in front of the entrance of a temple or sacred precinct in China. The central placement of spirit walls served to prevent the entry of evil spirits, which were believed to travel only in straight lines. Composed of four separate square pieces of hollow earthenware, the wall is decorated on the front surface with lively dragon imagery in relief that is brilliantly colored in green, turquoise, yellow, black, and cream glazes. The unglazed back of the wall bears an incised inscription arranged in four vertical lines that gives the date, the reign-era, and the makers—twenty apprentice clay workers. Also on the back of the spirit wall is an inscription written in black ink that provides information about the place of production.
Artist
Unknown (Chinese, )
Title
Spirit Wall
Date
1567
Period
Ming Dynasty (1368-1644), Longqing Reign Period (1567-1572)
Medium
Earthenware with glaze
Dimensions
52 x 52 in. Overall
Credit
Ineva T. Reilly Endowment Fund purchase
Accession No.
1999.70a-d
Classification
Architectural Decoration
Geography
China

Related

1999, sold by Kaikodo (New York, NY) to the Elvhejem Museum of Art (now called Chazen Museum of Art

  • Elvehjem Museum of Art. "Bulletin/Biennial Report 1999-2001." Madison: Elvehjem Museum of Art, 2002. p. 81
  • Elvehjem Museum of Art. "Artscene." Vol. 16, No. 3, Spring 2000. p. 13