VIRTUAL COLLECTION OF ASIAN MASTERPIECES

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“Mille fleurs” jar (thousand flowers jar)
G 3444
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Why this is a
Masterpiece

The “famille rose” enamels, takes its name from the addition of a rose pink hue given by colloidal gold. This colour is used in a wide spectrum of tones from light blush to deep ruby. In addition, an opaque pigment was mixed which enabled the painter to reproduce subtle shades and enrich his palette with a variety of mixed tints. Combined with other enamels, the subtlety of the pattern and richness of colours, were unequalled and could only compare with the most sumptuous of brocades. The hundred or thousand flowers (chin. bai/wan hua), belong to the acme of this technique. Hundreds of gorgeous flowers drawn with extreme accuracy and all sorts of different hues and tints, make this jar like the ultimate fireworks of inventiveness among the Qianlong potters of the last period. This jar, it is said, might have come from the Peking Summer Residence. Such a masterpiece is not contradictory with this assumption.

History of the Object
This jar was acquired by Ernest Grandidier (1833-1912) at the Camondo auction sale in 1893. This was just one year before this great collector and precursor, interested in that kind of porcelain most valued by Chinese scholars, bequeathed his collection to the Louvre Museum. In 1911, its nearly 6000 items became part of the newly constituted Asian Art department in the Louvre. It became State property at his death and it was conveyed from there to the Guimet Museum in 1945.

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Type
Decorative Art 
Materials
Porcelain and “famille rose” enamels 
Measurements
Width 36 cm. Height 48 cm.  
Creator name
Unknown 
Creator date
Unknown 
Where it was made
China; southern China 
Geography
China 
Time period
AD 18th century ~ AD 18th century 
Creation date
18th Century; 1736 - 1795; Qing Dynasty; Qianlong reign 
Function
Art for the Elite’s gusto 
Acquisition
Demise of the Asian Arts collections from the Louvre to the Guimet Museum in 1945. 
Copyright
 
Acknowledgements
 
Owner
State property, France 
Museum
Musée National des arts asiatiques Guimet 
Credit line
 

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