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© the copyright holder. Photo credit: Bristol Museums, Galleries & Archives

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'Faceless' is a ceramic sculpture in porcelain that resembles a portrait bust. The face of the figure is truncated, leaving a flat oval surface decorated with floral scrolls on a yellow ground, a pattern associated with eighteenth-century ceramics used exclusively in the Chinese imperial household. The rest of the head, back and chest of the work are covered in a sprawling mountainous landscape design rendered in underglaze cobalt blue decoration, which references both traditional Chinese landscape painting and blue and white seventeenth-century porcelain vessels. Several gold enamel discs of varying sizes dot the blue landscape, symbolising the constellation of Ursa Major – the Plough. The shoulders of the bust are covered with the same enamelled floral decoration as the face.

Bristol Museum & Art Gallery







H 40 x W 20 x D 47 cm

Accession number


Acquisition method

purchased with the assistance of the Friends of Bristol Art Gallery, the Victoria & Albert Museum Purchase Grant Fund, the Art Fund and Simon Baker, 2015

Work type



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