Chinese Dehua, blanc-de-chine porcelain figure, depicting Damo Bodhidharma, with four-character He Chaozong square seal mark on back, 17th Century late Ming period, H. 36cm W. 17cm
Chinese Dehua or known by european and americains as blanc-de-chine, is the name given to white or creamy-white porcelain that comes from the Town of Têhua, Southern province of Fukien.
This figure represents Bodhidharma or known in chinese as Damo, the senior Bodhisatva (holy men on the way to buddhahood). This first Chinese patriarch was an indian monk who lived between the 5th and the 6th century A.D., travelling to China in the year of 520, he passes away in 529. Damo is normally portrayed with a appearance of fierce concentration and stern countenance.
Modelled seated, resting his hands on his one raised right knee, with shaved head and stoic face, Damo is accompanied by a monkey seated on a wave rockwork plinth. He Chaozong impressed seal mark to the reverse.
He Chaozong was a celebrated chinese pottery from the 17th Century, recognized by his magnificent white porcelain statuary of Immortals and Buddhist figures. Creating his own method, He Chaozong, works are known as the He School. His works, identified by his seal, are of soberb quality.
Bibliography: P.J. Donnelly, Blanc-de-Chine , London, 1969, pp. 1-13 & pp.159-160