Large Chinese Jin Dynasty Filial Piety Pottery Tile (AD 1115 - 1234)
This large pottery tile was made during the Jin Dynasty (AD 1115 - 1234) and has been excavated from Shanxi province. It depicts a scene from the story of Zeng Shen, one of the stories of the twenty-four paragons of filial piety:
Zeng Shen, who lived during the Spring and Autumn period. was well-known for his filial piety. When he was young he often went into the mountains to gather firewood. One day, when some unexpected guests dropped in, his mother was at wit's end and bit her finger in panic. At that moment, Zeng felt a sudden sharp pain in his heart, and he knew his mother must be calling him. So he quickly rushed home. He knelt down to ask his mother what happened; she explained that upon the sudden arrival of the guests she bit her finger in the hope that he would return. Subsequently, Zeng received the guests and treated them with due respect.
The tile is made from a grey pottery that has been "cold painted". It is square in shape with each side measuring approximately 34 cm (13.25 inches). Although there is surface wear, some of the original pigment still remains. Any repairs have been performed to a professional standard. It is available to view at our gallery.
We have taken this version of the story from the excellent Shanxi Museum / China Institute book, "Theater, Life and the Afterlife" (ISBN 978-7-03-032940-0) a book we highly recommend for anyone interested in Song, Jin, Yuan Dynasty pottery tiles.
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