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Storage Jar, c. 2200 B.C.


The Neolithic Yangshao culture (c. 5000–1500 B.C.) is named after a site in Henan province discovered in 1921. Yangshao culture extended across the central plain of north China, from Henan and Hebei in the east to the far western province of Gansu, and is noted for producing large painted storage jars that were interred in Chinese tombs. Used to hold food or liquids, these vessels constitute the most spectacular grave goods of the Neolithic period.

This storage jar has a round, bulbous shape tapering to a narrow base and is boldly painted with black iron and burgundy-colored manganese pigments. The handsome combination of abstract and geometric decoration is evidence of the vitality of the potter’s art at a very early point in the development of Chinese civilization.



(Eskenazi, Ltd., London);

purchased by Kimbell Art Foundation, Fort Worth, 1985.