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Chinese plate with three figures and a small dog

Chinese manufacture

Period of Qianlong (1736-1795), last quarter of the 18th century
Porcelain with enamel decoration
Pitti Objects of Art 1911 no. 1933

This plate is part of a group of five items that are equal in size, shape and decoration, with the exception of some tiny details on this latter piece. It falls within the category of Chinese porcelain known as the “Famille rose” because of its dominant colour. In this period, production needed to meet the growing demand of European customers and the imperial court, while maintaining a certain quality of both technique and style.  For this example, which was probably made for export, it is possible to speculate that it came from the kilns in the Canton area, a large manufacturing and sorting area for Chinese products of the period.  In the centre of the plate is a genre scene, focused on a lively effect created with the gazes between the man in the centre, the woman leaning on the table, and a young man looking at the scene from a circular opening. The woman is inside a pavilion filled with various items, including manuscripts, brushes, vases and a pretty bird in a cage hanging from the ceiling. The rim of the plate is decorated with geometric and plant designs inside which there are cartouches with inhabited landscapes, plants and flowers. The colours used are cobalt blue under the glaze, with green, yellow, gold, black, aubergine and pink hue tending to claret, over it.

Text by
Aurelia Alaia
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