The Ceramic Art
eBook - ePub

The Ceramic Art

A Compendium of The History and Manufacture of Pottery and Porcelain

Jennie J. Young

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eBook - ePub

The Ceramic Art

A Compendium of The History and Manufacture of Pottery and Porcelain

Jennie J. Young

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À propos de ce livre

THEhistory of ceramic art carries us back to ages of which it has furnished us with the only records. Beginning almost with the appearance of man upon the globe, it brings us down through the intricate paths of his migrations to the time in which we live. Historically, therefore, the study of the art is not only replete with interest, but promises much benefit to the student. The forms under which it appears are so varied, the circuitous route it has followed leads to so many lands and among so many peoples, and the customs it illustrates are so distinctive of widely separated nationalities, that its history is co-extensive with that of humanity. In many cases it supplies us with information regarding nations whose works in pottery are their only monuments.

Were we, therefore, to attempt to find its origin, we might go back as far as written history could guide us, and then find proofs of its existence in a prehistoric age. It is curious to observe that, as we compare the earliest productions of different countries, we discover a similarity between the crude ideas to which they owe their origin. It is equally remarkable—and the fact is worthy of notice as pointing to the great antiquity of the practice of working in clay—that all nations of whose early religious ideas we have any knowledge ascribe its inception to the gods. Daily habit demonstrated its utility, and gratitude found a cover for ignorance, in bestowing upon the heavenly powers the credit of inspiring man with a knowledge of the capabilities of the plastic clay.

Reason supplies an easy solution of the problem, but one not likely to occur to the unreasoning man of the primitive world. "On the day," says Jacquemart, "when man, walking upon the clayey soil, softened by inundations or rain, first observed that the earth retained the prints of his footsteps, the plastic art was discovered; and when lighting a fire to warm his limbs or to cook his food, he remarked that the surface of the hearth changed its nature and its color, that the reddened clay became sonorous, impervious, and hardened in its new shape, the art was revealed to him of making vessels fit to contain liquids." The reason of the nineteenth century conflicts strangely with old-world opinions of what was due to beneficent deity. Of this we can easily find abundant illustration. Let us take, as examples, China, Japan, Egypt, and Greece. We will find that each reverts to the misty boundary between legend and history, or to the earlier age when the gods had not deserted the world—the horizon of mortal vision or fancy, where heaven seems to touch earth. It is said that nearly two thousand seven hundred years before the Christian era the potter's art was discovered in China by Kouen-ou. This was during the reign of the enlightened Emperor Hoang-ti. Of him it is recorded that after many labors for the good of his subjects, the amelioration of their condition, and the extension of their knowledge, he was translated to the upper sphere on the back of a huge and whiskered dragon.

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Informations

Éditeur
Perlego
Année
2013
ISBN
9700000043221
Sujet
Design

Table des matiĂšres