Chinese plate

Plate
China
Qing dynasty, late Yongzheng period, 1723-1735
Porcelain ; D.17,2 cm
Inv. V.1484

During the Yongzheng period, Chinese porcelain reached unparalleled quality with a production evocatively called 'eggshell' porcelain. The decoration was characterized by a purplish pink enamel (called 'purple of Cassius), which came from Europe, and a white glaze that, when combined with another colour, made it opaque and softened it. This range of colours was called famille rose in France and yangcai ('foreign colours') in China, because of its tremendous success in the West. Decorated with a kingfisher and Prunus and camellia branches, this plate adopts these new techniques. However, the spare, asymmetrical composition dominated by a white background adheres more closely to Chinese taste than to the European market.

Discover this masterpiece on the online museum catalogue, in the book Masterpieces and in our gallery China.