Description & Technical information

European Market
From the Golden Gate Collection

A Chinese export porcelain saucer dish decorated all over the surface in famille rose with a scene of European figures in a garden.

This finely painted dish is unusual in having no decorative borders, with the scene filling the whole surface of the dish, more in Chinese taste. It is just possible that this was intended for a Chinese consumer who wanted a Western design.
The subject is Le Printemps, taken from an engraving by Nicolas de Larmessin IV (1684-1755) after a painting by Nicolas Lancret (1690-1743) from a set of the Four Seasons. Two from this set of four are found on export art (the other is Autumn, which is known en grisaille on a teaservice) and it was a popular image used over a period of time. A teaservice with this design but without the blue sky is also recorded.

Several different Larmessin prints after Lancret are known on export porcelain: two from the Larmessin suite illustrating the Contes et Nouvelles of La Fontaine; L’Adolescence and Le Vieillesse from the Four Ages of Man (the paintings are in the National Gallery, London); and  The Loves of the Groves, (also engraved by Andrew Miller) is known on a punchbowl and in a simpified form on a teaservice.

References: Sapage 1992, No 36, a teapot with this design; Antunes et al 2000, No 30, a teacaddy; Hervouët & Bruneau 1986, No 7.65, a similar saucer.

Date:  Qianlong period circa 1740
Period:  1600-1750, 18th century
Origin:  China
Medium: porcelain
Dimensions: 21 cm (8¹/₄ inches)
Categories: Oriental and Asian Art