About this artwork
Chinese porcelains known in the West by the French term famille rose (pink family) are distinguished by pastel shades of overglaze enamel, primarily pink derived from colloidal gold—tiny fragments of crushed gold dissolved in translucent enamel. Previously unknown in China, such delicately colored mineral pigments were partly inspired by the art of painted enamel on copper that was introduced to the Chinese court by northern European Jesuit missionaries in the late seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries. Masterfully created and applied by potters and painters at the imperial workshops, these subtle tones were termed "powdered colors”, “soft colors,” and “foreign colors.” by their court patrons.
These graceful branches of fruiting peaches and plum blossoms, juxtaposed with five red bats (two of which are under the rim), carry subtly auspicious messages. Peaches connote longevity; the five bats are a rebus, or pictorial pun, for five blessings: longevity, health, wealth, virtue, and natural death.
- Dish with Peaches and Bats
- Porcelain painted with overglaze famille rose enamels
- H. 4.1 cm (1 5/8 in.); diam. 20.8 cm (8 3/16 in.)
- Bequest of Henry C. Schwab