Description and Visual Analysis
The Dish with Two Intertwined Dragons is a visually complex but well-balanced example of Chinese inspired porcelain. While there is only one color glaze on this dish, the variety of tone implies a shallow depth of space. For example, the two central dragons overlap each other and form a symmetrical six-pointed star. The overlapping implies some depth of space. The proportion of each Dragon’s body is extremely out of scale; the legs and wings are much too small in comparison to the roundness of each body. While the figures are semi realistic the focus of the artist was to create a dynamic image not to create a realistic representation of a mystical creature. Although it may be hard to see, each Dragon is biting the other’s underbelly, in a perfectly balanced never ending-battle. The fierce expressions also support the theory that the Dragons are in mid battle.
Behind the Dragons is an abstract repeating wave pattern that frames the central figures. Since the pattern becomes smaller closer to the center, the viewers focus is draw to the entwined Dragons. Around the edge of the central section of the dish, there are six small wave crests glazed in a darker blue. These small areas of darker tone break up the repetitiveness of the wave pattern. Overall the small-scale pattern adds energy and movement to the battling dragons.
The middle band on the Dish has a more abstract vegetal design with six dark blue lotus flowers that pop off the pure white background. Each lotus is positioned right about each tip of the six-pointed star. The contrast between the more intense pigmentation in the central design and the relative sacristy by comparison in the middle band breaks up the intense concentration of glaze in the center of the Dish. While the vegetal design between the lotuses is overly simplified when compared to the level of detail on the dragons and abstract wave pattern behind them it still adds another element of diverse texture to the dish as a whole.
The last and smallest band on the Dish around the edge is also a water motif of waves cresting against rocks. The dark background is the direct opposite to the whiteness of the middle band. The farther out from the center of the dish the more abstract the patterns become. Cumulatively the three bands of pattern within the Dish with Two Intertwined Dragons compliment each other despite the variety of scale, and different levels of detail.