The Emperor Kangxi was an excellent organiser with an inquisitive mind and a strong character; he was also an independent humanist. He was interested in craftsmanship and one of his achievements was the reorganisation of the Jingdezhen kilns. Many early Kangxi pieces still reflect the freedom and eclectic taste prevalent in the previous decades, when literati, scholar-officials and members of the rising merchant classes set the tone. Broad landscapes and river scenes, patterns with animals or flowers and scenes from literary sources are painted boldly, yet with a fine feeling for detail. The glaze is impeccable and the cobalt blue is applied in confident strokes, while washes in shades of blue suggest volume and depth.