The Minneapolis Institute of Arts - Museum Home Page
The Art of Asia
History & Maps

Explore the Collection
Guide to Early Chinese Ceramics

Yueh Ware
5th century B.C. - A.D. 10th century

The Han Empire was followed by four centuries of political disunity—generally termed the Six Dynasties (220 - 589). This was the era when Buddhism began its ascendancy and the economy of the Yangtze River Valley caught up with that of the Yellow River Valley to the north. Celadon glazed porcelaineous stoneware termed Yueh ware began to occupy an ever-increasing role in daily life, Buddhist rituals, and burials.

Yueh refers to all southern high-fired celadon wares dating from as early as the Warring States period (480 - 221 B.C.) to the early Sung dynasty (10th century). Celadon is a descriptive term used primarily in the West to describe green glaze porcelaineous wares. Produced with iron oxide as the coloring agent and fired in a reduction atmosphere over 1200oC, Yueh celadon in fact can range from yellow to grey-green, olive, blue, or blue-green, depending on its glaze compound and conditions of firing. Yueh undoubtedly dominated ceramic production during the Six Dynasties period and much of it was produced in the ancient Wu-Yueh district in Chekiang province.


Spirit Jar (hun ping)
Spirit Jar

Bowl, one of a pair


Globular Jar
Globular Jar