Reading Objects in the Contact Zone
How to cite this chapter

Weiß, Matthias: Cytherian China, in: Troelenberg, Eva-Maria, Schankweiler, Kerstin and Messner, Anna Sophia (Eds.): Reading Objects in the Contact Zone, Heidelberg: Heidelberg University Publishing, 2021 (Heidelberg Studies on Transculturality, Vol. 9).

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Identifiers (Book)
ISBN 978-3-96822-049-9 (PDF)
ISBN 978-3-96822-050-5 (Hardcover)
ISBN 978-3-96822-051-2 (Softcover)

Published 10.06.2021.

Matthias Weiß

Cytherian China

Abstract Though, or since, this plate is a piece of export porcelain made in China, the model for its main motif is a widely distributed engraving by Paris-based artist Bernard Picart showing a pilgrimage to Cythera—the utopian island of love. Analyzing the object as a whole, the notions of trav­elling and seduction are not limited to this depiction. Still a proof of the European china craze and the efforts of Chinese manufacturers to fulfill that need, it rather evidences the complex interactions of economic inter­ests, scientific inquiry, and artistic rivalry as well as the limitations of such mutual exchange processes.

Keywords Encre de Chine (schwarzlotmalerei), Europerie, Export porce­lain (chine de commande), Famille rose (yangcai), Isle of Cythera