western explorers first made contact with the Chinese, they
returned with word of many fascinating art forms, products,
and innovations. One
of these art forms was Chinese porcelain, which subsequently
became known as what else - China.
The making of China is an art that goes back
centuries in China, and it is one that evolved with the
various dynasties that make up Chinese history. Over the years, the type of glazing and enamel applied to
China changed as new designs and colors became fashionable.
also became common for designs originating in China to
become widely popular in Europe.
In fact, many Chinese porcelain innovations were
trend setters for the European markets.
One of these innovations was the color
"family" known as Famille Verte.
But European influences can also be found to have
influenced Chinese designs; this is the case with the color
family and designs associated with Famille Rose.
Verte originated in the early eighteenth century.
Famille Verte is French for the "green
family," and indeed the colors in Famille Verte are
based on different shades of green.
These green colors are then combined with hues of
red, blue, and yellow and the enamel baked onto the
porcelain in intricate patterns and designs.
Famille Verte is a wholly Chinese innovation and
builds upon patterns developed in the earlier Ming dynasty,
which was characterized by a "five color" pattern
Rose, on the other hand, was influenced heavily by colors
introduced from Europe.
The pink and rose hues of this classification of
China are deviations from previous Chinese designs, and the
pieces that were produced with the Famille Rose are much
more closely associated with the forms of China popular in
modern European and Western markets than with older Chinese
Famille Rose palette of colors is more opaque than other
color and design groupings.
Additionally gold colorations are used more than the
deeper red hues of previous designs.
Famille Rose patterns were exported to Europe, and the
fanciers of China there often refined and redesigned these
patterns and sent these designs back to China for
while many of the Famille Rose patterns are wholly of
Chinese origin, others have roots that intermingle with
European designs and ideas.
The Famille Rose "era" is from about 1730
to the 1790s. Early Chinese pieces are characterized by large flowers,
while later pieces adopt smaller flowers that were more
popular in European markets.
making of fine porcelain pieces is an ancient art in China,
practiced for centuries before the area was even explored by
the west. However,
once the export market became an important part of the
Chinese economy, various influences began to influence the
colors and designs produced by the country's many kilns and
productions sites. Famille
Verte and Famille Rose are two of the best examples of these
styles, and pieces made with these enamel color families are
prized by collectors still.