Venerable dragon teaching his son
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Father’s Day was set up to honour fatherhood and secure paternal bonds. One very potent motif in the repertoire of traditional Chinese pictorial culture in this regard is the image of a magnificent brawny dragon facing a smaller young dragon in the background of cloud and waves. It symbolises the passing of knowledge and experience from one generation to another, which shows how the society and dominant ideology treasure the paternal advice.
Fig 1-3: porcelain globular vase with overglaze enamelled decoration, Qianlong period (1736-1795), courtesy of Sotheby’s Hong Kong 2019
Fig 4-5: porcelain vase with underglaze blue and overglaze yellow enamel, Yongzheng period (1723-35), courtesy of Victoria and Albert Museum, London
Fig 6: porcelain round covered box with underglaze blue and overglaze guilded and enamelled decoration, Jiaqing period (1796-1820), courtesy of Palace Museum, Beijing