Famille Verte: Chinese Porcelain in Green Enamels

Christiaan J. A. Jörg

The Famille Verte exhibition and accompanying catalogue is about a special kind of Chinese porcelain. As the 19th-century French name implies, the decorations are predominantly painted in different shades of bright green enamels, combined with blue, yellow, red, black and sometimes some gold.

This type of porcelain was made in the period c. 1680-1725, during the reign of Emperor Kangxi (1662-1722), when production in the porcelain kilns in Jingdezhen was at its height. As a new, modern type of ware, famille verte enjoyed widespread appeal and was produced for the domestic Chinese market as well as for export to Europe. Simply put, famille verte wares are extraordinarily fine and beautiful objects. The colourful decorations of flowers, butterflies, mythical animals or Chinese figural scenes are rendered in painstaking detail. In the West, this porcelain with its strange and exotic subjects ranked among the best available and was coveted by the wealthy. It enhanced their status when proudly displayed in their interiors or when used at the dinner table. Nowadays, famille verte can be found in museums, country houses, palaces and private collections all over Europe and the USA. In the Netherlands, too, it constitutes a substantial part of several museum collections of Chinese ceramics, e.g., the Rijksmuseum Amsterdam, the Municipal Museum in The Hague, the Boymans Van Beuningen Museum in Rotterdam, the Groninger Museum in Groningen, and the Princessehof Museum in Leeuwarden. Notwithstanding its high quality, its beauty and its ongoing appeal, famille verte has never been the subject of a monograph or exhibition in the West or in China. This book is therefore an international milestone. It features several essays on specific topics, for example, an explanation of the figural scenes that depict episodes from China’s most popular love story The Romance of the Western Chamber. The more than 175 objects were chosen for their wealth of shapes and decorations; at the same time they constitute a concise survey of the rich holdings of famille verte in Dutch public collections. The catalogue was written by Professor Emeritus Christiaan J.A. Jörg (Leiden University), former curator at the Groninger Museum and an internationally renowned author and expert in the field of Chinese export porcelain. He has written more than 85 books, catalogues and articles on Oriental export porcelain and lacquer.

Published by BAI-Schoten - Belgium, Groninger Museum, 2011

  • Language: English
  • Hardcover
  • ISBN 9789085865896
  • 22.6 x 29.8 cm
  • 192 pages
  • Book condition: New. Signs of shelf wear.
  • £100,00 (+ shipping)
HardcoverAir mailStandard
Portugal £3,00
Europe £7,00
Rest of the World £13,50

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