Subject:Re: Beautiful Porcelain Plaque
Posted By: Bill H Wed, Jan 15, 2020
Judging mostly by the style of the painting, which seems a bit naïve and lacking in animation, I'd say it probably dates no earlier than the mid-20th century, or possibly later. The theme itself is traditional, featuring scholars in a riverine landscape with hills and auspicious flora, including pine, prunus (flowering plum) and bamboo ( the Three Friends of Winter), as well as plantain (or banana), willow and perhaps cedar. The central figure with red vestment and female attendants may represent a palace official or senior scholar who is hosting the gathering on the grounds of his his villa. The russet-robed figure at the top of the plaque appears to be a monk or other holy man, who is sharing his wisdom. There looks to be an absence of immortals or other celestials in the crowd, as all of the figures have normal ears (ears of Buddhas and other deities are elongated).
Despite what I see as some stylistic deficiencies, the plaque makes a colorful decorative statement. The seals offer no clue as to who painted it, the top one reading from the right as "Qianlong", and the one beneath just adding "Zhiyin" (seal of). The scene itself may be from a larger historical painting, but I lack the background to identify it if so.