About this artwork
Starting in 1604 the Dutch East India Company (founded 1602) imported Chinese porcelain into the northern Netherlands in ever-increasing quantities. The popularity of these predominantly blue- and white objects led potters in the Dutch city of Delft to refine their clay and glaze formulas to better compete with the Chinese imports. Delftware proved an important source of wealth for the Dutch Republic, which had only recently achieved independence from Spain.
In the 1640s porcelain imports into Europe ceased due to civil war in China, leaving Europeans looking for a substitute. By 1665, more than twenty pottery factories had been established in Delft to fill the gap. Most delftware painted with Chinese decoration, like the Art Institute’s vase, dates from this important creative period.
The source of the principal image on the vase is an engraving from the title page of a record of the 1655–57 mission undertaken by the Dutch East India Company to China to negotiate trade agreements with the Chinese emperor. While the mission failed in its trade objectives, the steward, Johan Nieuhof, wrote extensive reports on the journey, which were subsequently published with engraved illustrations.
- Grieksche A Factory
- Vase with Cover
- Tin-glazed earthenware (Delftware)
- H. 58 cm (23 in.)
- Anonymous gift in honor of Eloise W. Martin; Eloise W. Martin Fund