Bowl with children in a garden, Ming dynasty (1368–1644), Jiajing mark and period (1522–66), mid-16th century. Porcelain painted in underglaze cobalt blue (Jingdezhen ware). H. 6 in. (15.2 cm); Diam. of mouth 12 1/4 in. (31.1 cm). Gift of Denise and Andrew Saul, 2001; 2001.738. © 2000–2018 The Metropolitan Museum of Art.
The theme of boys playing was popular in Chinese decorative arts, as demonstrated by this blue-and-white porcelain bowl. Unlike carving and weaving, brush painting on porcelain gives artists more freedom to represent a variety of children’s facial expressions: delighted, charming, and sometimes mischievous.