Kangxi Famille Verte Porcelain Collection at the National Gallery of Art Washington


Kangxi Famille Verte Porcelain Collection at the National Gallery of Art Washington

Famille Verte Kangxi Porcelains
In addition to having an amazing collection of western sculpture and paintings, the National Gallery of Art in Washington DC. also holds within it's vast collections one of the finest collections in the world of fine porcelains from China made during the Kangxi period (1662-1722). 

This is just one post with illustrations pertaining to the collection...this one only covers the Famille Verte porcelains...The extremely rare black ground Famille Verte vases produced during the Kangxi reign as they are in a class unto themselves from this collection and will be posted separately. 


The Kangxi Famille Verte porcelain collection at the National Gallery of Art Washington are among the finest in the world. 

Kangxi Famille Verte Porcelain Collection at the National Gallery of Art Washington
Kangxi Dynasty Famille Verte At the national Gallery of Art

A Little History on Famille Verte, Noire and Jaune

Famille Verte (as well as it's cousins Noire and Jaune) is also known in China as "yingcai" (bright colors) . The term Famille Verte originated in the 19th C. and was coined by Albert Jacquemart who along with E. Le Blant wrote a tomb on the history of ceramics titled "Histoire aristique, industrielle  et commerciale de la porcelaine" published in 1862. Within the book Jacquemart famously commented these enamels thus. 
"It's name requires no explanation being based on a ostensible and striking fact. All the pieces of this family are resplendent with copper-green colour, which absorbs every other"..
This wonderful color palette is actually the result of coloring developed during the Ming dynasty following in the footsteps of the Wucai (five color) enamels.  The biggest difference between the two was the elimination of of turquoise blue and was replaced with a purplish blue bordering at times on lavender. On occasion under-glaze blue is also used, but not often as the cobalt doesn't react well to multiple firings which are needed with polychrome enamels. This purplish blue is often a good indicator of authenticity when examining a piece. 
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In 1683 the production of these wares reached their apex under the guidance of  Zang Yingxuan who had been appointed Director of the Jingdezhen factory and worked closely under the watchful of the Kangxi Emporer. During his management, the porcelain became much more refined, the glazes clearer and the ranges of available colors were expanded and enhanced by numerous new shades. As the emperor took a personal interest in the goings on at the kilns a generous budget was allowed and creative impulses were encouraged. 

During this creative period new colors were developed resulting in numerous new shades and tones. The colors developed were:
  • eel-skin or shanyuhuang
  • turquiose blue or jicui 
  • spotted yellow or huangbandian
  • snake-skin green or shebilu

Most interestingly were the variations of the color green. Cucumber green, apple green, langyao green, camelia leaf green and pea green. These were all applied as monochromes as well as partnered in polychrome decorated pieces. During this time copper red of the Ming dynasty was supplanted by an iron red.  Additionally manganese purple, a topaz colored yellow, black and gold was often included requiring a firing in a muffle kiln. 

Early in Kangxi's reign the bodies of porcelains tended to be of a slightly greyish cast, as improvements were made, the result was fine, compact, pure, smooth  and very white examples. As refinements were made the paste and bodies improved radically..the following examples are the result..


Kangx Period Famille Verte vase
Kangx Period Famille Verte Baluster Vase

A baluster vase with Famille Verte enamels
Fine Famille Verte Chinese Kangxi Period Dragon Vase

Detail view of Dragon in Famille vete
Detail View of Kangxi Dragon Vase, Famille Verte Enamels

Tall Dragon decorated Famille Verte vase
 Kangxi Dragon Vase, Famille Verte Enamels

Kangxi Dragon Baluster Vase
Detail, Rare Famille Verte Kangxi Period Dragon Vase

Qing Dynasty Famille verte vase
18th C. Kangxi Famille Verte Vase with Birds

Kangxi Vase Detail of Enamels
Detail, 18th C. Kangxi Famille Verte Vase with Birds

Baluster warrior vase in Verte enamels
Kangxi Period Famille Verte Warrior Vase

Detail of Famille verte vase detail
Detail of Kangxi Period Famille Verte Vase

Famille Verte Kangxi Warrior vase Detail
Base Detail of Kangxi Period Famille Verte Vase

<img src=" Kangxi Baluster Vase .jpg" alt="with Warriors in Famille Verte Enamels">
Kangxi Famille Verte Vase With Warriors

<img src=" Kangxi Baluster Vase detail .jpg" alt="with Warriors in Famille Verte Enamels">
Kangxi Famille Verte Vase With Warriors

Pear Shaped Kangxi Famille Verte vase
Famille Verte Shunzhi Vase with Horses



Famille Verte figure of Dancing Figure
Kangxi Dancing Woman

<img src="Chinese Dancing Woman .jpg" alt="With Famille verte enamels">
Detail of Kangxi Dancing Woman

<img src="Chinese Porcelain Duck .jpg" alt="With Famille verte enamels">
Kangxi Porcelain Duck on Lotus Leaf

<img src="Chinese Dancing Woman .jpg" alt="With Famille verte enamels">
Detail of Duck with Aubergine Glaze

<img src="Chinese Porcelain Duck .jpg" alt="With Famille verte enamels">
Detail of Duck with Aubergine Glaze

<img src="Chinese Famale Attendent .jpg" alt="With Famille verte enamels">

<img src="Chinese Famale Attendent .jpg" alt="With Famille verte enamels">

<img src="Chinese Female Biscuit figure .jpg" alt="With Famille verte enamels">

<img src="Chinese Female Biscuit figure .jpg" alt="With Famille verte enamels">

<img src="Chinese Female Biscuit figure .jpg" alt=" Famille verte enamels">

<img src="Chinese Female Biscuit figure .jpg" alt="With Famille verte enamels">
Seated Famille Verte Kangxi Biscuit Figure

<img src="Chinese Female Biscuit figure .jpg" alt="With Famille verte enamels">
Seated Famille Verte Kangxi Biscuit Figure

<img src="Chinese Female Biscuit figure .jpg" alt="With Famille verte enamels">
Seated Kangxi Famille Verte Biscuit Figure

<img src="Seated Female Biscuit figure .jpg" alt="With Famille verte enamels">

<img src="Detail of Female Biscuit figure .jpg" alt="With Famille verte enamels">

<img src="Chinese Daoist Biscuit figure .jpg" alt="With Famille verte enamels">
Daoist Biscut Figure in Famille Verte

<img src="Chinese Daoist Biscuit figure .jpg" alt="With Famille verte enamels">
Daoist Biscut Figure in Famille Verte, Detail Image

<img src="Chinese Daoist Biscuit figure .jpg" alt="With Famille verte enamels">
Daoist Biscut Figure in Famille Verte, Detail Image

<img src="Chinese Kangxi Guanyin .jpg" alt=" Famille verte enamels">

<img src="Kwan-yin Biscuit figure .jpg" alt="18th C. Famille verte enamels">

<img src="Chinese Kangxi Guanyin base .jpg" alt=" Famille verte enamels">

<img src="Kangxi Covered Jar .jpg" alt=" Famille Jaune on Biscuit">
Kangxi Covered Jar with Famille Jaune on Biscuit

<img src="Kangxi Covered Jar .jpg" alt=" Famille Jaune on Biscuit">

<img src="Kangxi Covered Lantern .jpg" alt=" Famille verte on Biscuit">
Kangxi Covered Lantern in Famille Verte Enamels

<img src="Kangxi Covered Lantern .jpg" alt=" Famille verte on Biscuit">
Detail of Kangxi Famille Verte Lantern

<img src="Kangxi Trumpet vase .jpg" alt=" Famille Jaune on Biscuit">
Famille Jaune Kangxi Beaker Vase

<img src="Kangxi Trumpet vase .jpg" alt=" Famille Jaune on Biscuit">
Detail of Famille Jaune Beaker Vase

<img src="Kangxi Porcelain Lantern .jpg" alt=" Famille Verte on Biscuit">

<img src="Kangxi Porcelain Lantern .jpg" alt=" Famille Verte on Biscuit">

<img src="Kangxi Porcelain Fishbowl .jpg" alt=" Famille Verte on Biscuit">
Large Kangxi Famille Verte Fish Bowl

<img src="Kangxi Porcelain Fishbowl detail .jpg" alt=" Famille Verte on Biscuit">
Detail of Famille Verte Kangxi Period Fishbowl

<img src="Kangxi Porcelain Foo Lion .jpg" alt=" Famille Verte on Biscuit">
Large Kangxi Famille Verte Foo Lion

<img src="Kangxi Porcelain Foo Lion detail .jpg" alt=" Famille Verte on Biscuit">
Detail, Large Kangxi Famille Verte Foo Lion

<img src="Kangxi Porcelain Foo Lion base .jpg" alt=" Famille Verte on Biscuit">

<img src="Kangxi Porcelain Foo Lion .jpg" alt=" Famille Verte on Biscuit">
Kangxi Porcelain Foo Lion

<img src="Detail Kangxi Porcelain Foo Lion .jpg" alt=" Famille Verte on Biscuit">
Detail view of Kangxi Famille Verte Foo Lion

<img src="Detail Kangxi Porcelain Foo Lion .jpg" alt=" Famille Verte on Biscuit">

<img src="Kangxi Porcelain Li Tieguai  .jpg" alt=" Famille Noire on Biscuit">
Kangxi Figure of Li Tieguai

<img src="Kangxi Porcelain Li Tieguai  .jpg" alt=" Famille Noire on Biscuit">
Detail, Kangxi Figure of Li Tieguai

<img src="Kangxi Porcelain Table .jpg" alt=" Famille Jaune on Biscuit">
Famille Jaune Kangxi Table

<img src="Kangxi Porcelain Table .jpg" alt=" Famille Jaune on Biscuit">
Famille Jaune Kangxi Period Porcelain Table

<img src="Kangxi Rectangular Vase .jpg" alt=" Famille Jaune on Biscuit">
Rare Kangxi Famille Jaune Rectangular Vase

<img src="Kangxi Rectangular Vase detail .jpg" alt=" Famille Verte on Biscuit">
Detail, Rare Kangxi Famille Verte Rectangular Vase

<img src="Kangxi Rectangular Vase detail .jpg" alt=" Famille Jaune on Biscuit">

<img src="Kangxi Rectangular Inscribed .jpg" alt=" Famille Jaune on Biscuit">
Inscribed Kangxi Famille Jaune and Noire vase

<img src="Kangxi Rectangular Inscription .jpg" alt=" Famille Jaune on Biscuit">
Inscription on Kangxi Famille Verte and Noire vase

<img src="Kangxi Rectangular Inscribed base .jpg" alt=" Famille Jaune on Biscuit">
Inscription on Kangxi Famille Verte and Noire vase

<img src="Kangxi Reticulated Box .jpg" alt=" Famille Jaune on Biscuit">
Famille Jaune Kangxi Reticulated Box

<img src="Detail Kangxi Reticulated Box .jpg" alt=" Famille Jaune on Biscuit">
Famille Jaune Kangxi Reticulated Box, Detail

<img src="Detail Kangxi Reticulated Box .jpg" alt=" Famille Jaune on Biscuit">
Detail of Kangxi Famille Jaune Box

<img src="Detail Kangxi Reticulated Box .jpg" alt=" Famille Jaune on Biscuit">
Detail of Famille Verte Box

<img src="Kangxi Reticulated Perfume ball .jpg" alt=" Famille Verte on Biscuit">
Kangxi Famille Verte Perfume Ball

<img src="Kangxi Reticulated Perfume ball detail .jpg" alt=" Famille Verte on Biscuit">
Kangxi Famille Verte Reticulated Perfume Ball

<img src="Kangxi Reticulated Perfume ball on Stand .jpg" alt=" Famille Verte on Biscuit">
Kangxi Reticulated Perfume ball on Stand

<img src="Kangxi Reticulated Perfume ball .jpg" alt=" Famille Verte on Biscuit">
Kangxi Reticulated Famille Verte Perfume Ball

<img src="Kangxi Reticulated Perfume ball .jpg" alt=" Famille Verte on Biscuit">
Kangxi Reticulated Famille Verte Perfume Ball

<img src="Kangxi Reticulated Perfume ball detail .jpg" alt=" Famille Verte on Biscuit">
Detail, Kangxi Reticulated Famille Verte Perfume Ball
<img src="Kangxi Figure of Shou Lao .jpg" alt=" Famille Verte on Biscuit">
Kangxi Figure of Shou Lao on Biscuit

<img src="Kangxi Figure of Shou Lao detail .jpg" alt=" Famille Verte on Biscuit">
Detail, Kangxi Figure of Shou Lao on Biscuit

<img src="Kangxi Fang Hu Porcelain Vase .jpg" alt=" Famille Jaune on Biscuit">
Famille Jaune Kangxi Fang Hu Vase

<img src="Kangxi Fang Hu Porcelain Vase .jpg" alt=" Detail of Famille Jaune on Biscuit">
Detail, Famille Jaune Kangxi Fang Hu Vase

<img src="Kangxi Fang Hu Porcelain Vase .jpg" alt=" Detail of Famille Jaune on Biscuit">
Base Detail, Famille Jaune Kangxi Fang Hu Vase

<img src="Kangxi Wine Cup .jpg" alt=" Detail of Famille Jaune and Verte on Biscuit">
Kangxi Fang Wine Cup

<img src="Kangxi Wine Cup base .jpg" alt=" Detail of Famille Jaune and Verte on Biscuit">
Base View of Kangxi Famille Jaune and Verte Wine Cup

<img src="Kangxi Wine Cup .jpg" alt=" Famille Jaune and Verte on Biscuit">
Kangxi Famille Jaune and Verte Wine Cup

<img src="Base Kangxi Wine Cup .jpg" alt=" Famille Jaune and Verte on Biscuit">
Base View of Kangxi Famille Jaune and Verte Wine Cup

<img src="Kangxi Wine Ewer .jpg" alt=" Famille Verte on Biscuit">
Chinese Kangxi Famille Verte Wine Ewer

<img src="Detail Kangxi Wine Ewer .jpg" alt=" Famille Verte on Biscuit">
Detail, Chinese Kangxi Famille Verte Wine Ewer

<img src="Detail Kangxi Wine Ewer .jpg" alt=" Famille Verte on Biscuit">
Detail, Chinese Kangxi Famille Verte Wine Ewer

<img src="Detail Kangxi Wine Pot .jpg" alt=" Famille Verte on Biscuit">
Chinese Kangxi Famille Verte Wine Pot

<img src="Detail Kangxi Wine Pot .jpg" alt=" Famille Verte on Biscuit">
Detail, Chinese Kangxi Famille Verte Wine Pot

<img src="Detail Kangxi Wine Pot .jpg" alt=" Famille Verte on Biscuit">
Dtail, Chinese Kangxi Famille Verte Wine Pot

<img src="Reticulated Kangxi Wine Pot .jpg" alt=" Famille Verte on Biscuit">
Chinese Kangxi Famille Verte Wine Pot

<img src="Reticulated Kangxi Wine Pot .jpg" alt=" Famille Verte on Biscuit">
Chinese Kangxi Famille Verte Wine Pot

<img src="Reticulated Kangxi Wine Pot .jpg" alt=" Famille Verte on Biscuit">
Chinese Kangxi Famille Verte Wine Pot

<img src=" Bamboo Form Kangxi Wine Pot .jpg" alt=" Famille Verte on Biscuit">
Bamboo Form, Chinese Kangxi Famille Verte Wine Pot

<img src=" Bamboo Form Kangxi Wine Pot .jpg" alt=" Famille Verte on Biscuit">
Bamboo Form, Chinese Kangxi Famille Verte Wine Pot

<img src=" Bamboo Form Kangxi Wine Pot .jpg" alt=" Famille Verte on Biscuit">
Bamboo Form, Chinese Kangxi Famille Verte Wine Pot

<img src=" Bamboo Form Kangxi Wine Pot .jpg" alt=" Famille Verte on Biscuit">
Bamboo Form, Chinese Kangxi Famille Verte Wine Pot

<img src=" Kangxi Porcelain Figure of a Woman .jpg" alt=" Famille Verte on Biscuit">
Kangxi Porcelain Figure of a Woman

<img src=" Kangxi Porcelain Figure of a Woman detail .jpg" alt=" Famille Verte on Biscuit">
Detail, Kangxi Porcelain Figure of a Woman








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