Xuande was the eldest son of Hongxi Emperor and was the fifth emperor to rule the Ming Dynasty. He strived to continue on the path of his grandfather Yongle Emperor’s “Golden Age”. Xuande was an accomplished painter and was fond of painting animals. He was regarded as the only Ming Emperor to display genuine artistic merit and interest.
Emperor Xuande also took a personal interest in porcelain. At Jingdezhen, some sixty kilns worked for the court. The majority of pieces bear the following mark transcription: Daming Xuande nianzhi (made during the Xuande reign of the Great Ming dynasty). It is neatly written, placed either under the base in two vertical lines, or near the outer rim in one horizontal line. Under Xuande, it became an established practice to mark ceramics; nevertheless authentic pieces without marks do exist.