Les pièces de cette famille datent principalement de la fin de l’ère Kangxi (r. 1662-1723), période durant laquelle elles connaissent leur apogée car appréciées de l’empereur ; cependant, leur production, de qualité moindre, est de nouveau effective au XIXe siècle, alimentant les marchés d’exportations.
Pair of Chinese pots decorated with animated scenes, in reserves. The latter inscribed on a blue background, embellished with flowers and friezes. Base frame and handles in gilded bronze. Zinc interior trim.
For memory :
After 1498, with the opening of the route to India by Vasco da Gama, regular trade was established between the Far East and Europe. Portuguese in the 16th century, Dutch, English and French in the 17th and 18th centuries disputed the monopoly of imports of these Chinese porcelains which were baptized « Porcelaines of the Compagnie des Indes ».
From the arrival of the Europeans, the Chinese will adapt their production to the taste of these. To do this, goldsmith templates are sent to China, where they will be copied. traditional Chinese iconography – Confucian and Buddhist will gradually disappear in favor of a more European iconography, through subjects borrowed from engravings.
The classification of Chinese porcelain with enamel decoration by family is the work of Western collectors. It designates each family according to the dominant enamel. These terms were set in the middle of the 19th century by the collector Albert Jacquemart who published a book called The History of Ceramics.
Until 1700 we see the triumph of Ming blue and white and the so-called “Chinese Imari” decoration. After the accession of the Kangxi Emperor (1662-1730), in 1681, with the reopening of the imperial factory of Jingdezhen (the great Chinese center of production of export porcelains), we see a decoration called « green family ». which is massively imported into Europe. The term « green family », originally French but also adopted in English-speaking countries, was given by Albert Jacquemart (1808-1875) in 1862 in his book Histoire Artistique, Industriel et Commerciale de la Porcelaine. It is quite simply due to the predominance of green enamels, derived from copper carbonate, for the decoration, and which are subsequently fired at a temperature of 800°C.
Under Yongzheng (1723-1736) was born the decoration of « rose family ».
The Famille rose type decoration appeared during the Qing dynasty, around 1720, and triumphed from 1730 under the reigns of Yongzheng (1723-1735) and Qianlong (1736-1795). It was a Dutch chemist, named Andréas Cassius, who discovered, in 1650, the chemical formula for obtaining pink enamels later called “Cassius purple”. It was through the Jesuits that the “purple of Cassius” reached the Chinese court around 1719. The purple mixed with an opaque white based on arsenic gives the pink to which the decorative palette owes its name.