An Overview of Blue and White Porcelain in Qing Dynasty

“Blue-and-white porcelain is made of white clay, mixed with water and mixed evenly by human beings, and dried by hand, painted with cobalt oxide as pigment, then dried with transparent glaze, then dried in a kiln,” White ground blue-and-white porcelain under glaze after one firing at 1300 ℃.Blue-and-white porcelain after firing its blue-and-white hair color with a blue color, beautiful and pleasant, fresh and elegant, never faded characteristics.The paintings are decorated with auspicious patterns, such as landscape, flowers, Bo Gu, characters and stories, birds and beasts, etc., which are popular in traditional Chinese culture. The paintings are used in traditional Chinese painting by means of single-line hook-dyeing, flat-painting and shading, which are of high practical value, artistic appreciation and collection value. Very popular with the royal family and the people.The five essential elements of mature blue-and-white porcelain are: white porcelain;Pure cobalt oxide;Clear transparent glaze;a consummate skill in painting;Skillful firing technique.

In recent years, the earliest specimens of blue-and-white porcelain in China were found in Tang Dynasty, but the blue-and-white porcelain at this time was not entirely in the sense of blue-and-white porcelain.In Song Dynasty, celadon and single-color glaze porcelain were praised. The five famous kilns of Ru, Guan, Ge, Ding, Jun and Yue Zhou kilns, Yaozhou kilns, Longquan kilns, Cizhou kilns and Jingdezhen kilns were typical representatives of this period.The mature blue-and-white porcelain appeared in the late Yuan Dynasty, because of its strong national strength and vast territory, and the importance attached to foreign trade, China’s silk, tea and porcelain went directly along the land and water “Silk Road” to Persia, Arabia and the countries of Southeast Asia and the Chinese and foreign economies, With the unprecedented cultural exchange, Jingdezhen opened the “Floating Beam Porcelain Bureau”, which was made of porcelain, and invented the binary formula of porcelain stone and aged soil, and imported the cobalt from Persia (Iran) “Su Ma Li Qing”, so it can burn large and fine Yuan Qing Hua porcelain.By the Ming Dynasty blue-and-white porcelain became the mainstream porcelain, Jingdezhen porcelain products occupied the main Chinese porcelain market, especially the Ming Dynasty Yongle, Xuande blue-and-white porcelain, due to the use of green materials, a large number of imported Su Ma Li Qing (also known as Su Ni Bo Qing) mainly, Blue and white hair pure and rich color and rust mark penetration, also useful domestic green material, even domestic green material, but also because of pure raw materials and refined fine hair color.At this time of blue-and-white porcelain, whether made technology, or blue-and-white decoration reached an unprecedented peak, the late Ming Dynasty because of the war, political turmoil, porcelain production also gradually into a depression.

In the Qing Dynasty, the development of the blue-and-white porcelain, represented by the three dynasties of Qing Dynasty (Kangxi, Yongzheng and Qianlong), was once again in its heyday. The blue-and-white porcelain, with its solid body, fine white porcelain, rich blue-and-white flowers, bright and smooth glaze, and rich decorative patterns, was especially represented by the three dynasties of Qing Dynasty (Kangxi, Yongzheng and Qianlong). It is well-known both at home and abroad for its variety.Due to the long history of blue-and-white porcelain and its unique artistic expression, together with the rare handed-down products, it has been favored by collectors of all dynasties, and has been popular in the market.This is because the “three generations of the Qing” porcelain firing technology has matured, plus Kang, Yong, Qian three emperors love porcelain, at the expense of human, material and financial resources elaborate production, so the firing of blue-and-white porcelain is considered to be the highest work in the history of Chinese ceramics. Compared with the blue-and-white porcelain of the official kilns of the Qing Dynasty, the blue-and-white porcelain of the folk kilns has its own unique charm.The blue-and-white porcelain of the folk kilns has achieved high artistic standard because of its various shapes, rich subjects and free style.In this period, the painting subject of the kiln utensils, mainly with the flowers and birds of landscape characters ancient lines, painting free and vivid, the picture is exquisite, meaning auspicious painting meaning, literati color is strong.However, different “three generations of Qing” blue-and-white porcelain collection value is different, to the specific value of each porcelain also depends on the quality of the porcelain, instrument type, picture, blue-and-white hair color and artistic level and so on.

In the early Qing Dynasty, due to the excellent porcelain soil, fine washing, few impurity grains, so the quality of the tire is fine and white, after firing, it is glutinous rice cake-like, feel lubricated, and the production of extensive and high-quality porcelain soil reduced gradually contain impurities, rough hand;In the early Qing Dynasty, most of the green flowers were made of Zhejiang materials, and some of the fine products of the kilns and kilns were also made of pearl, thick blue, bright green, well-structured and stable, typical of the middle period of Kangxi.In the middle of the Qing Dynasty, the blue-and-white color slightly pale, less than the early blue pure, but mostly elegant and pleasant;After the Opium War, China was reduced to a semi-feudal and semi-colonial society, China’s national industry was severely damaged, and thousands of years of famous kilns have stagnated and declined.Ceramic production level is declining, production scale is shrinking day by day, manufacturing technology is still along with the old law.

Qingshun zhi pine, bamboo and plum tankage (this picture is extracted from network)

In the Shunzhi Dynasty (1638-1661), Emperor Shunzhi was the first emperor after the Qing army entered the Customs.Because of the sharp contradiction between the Manchu and Han nationalities in the early Qing Dynasty and the constant war, by the end of the Shunzhi Dynasty, the Qing court had defeated all kinds of anti-Qing forces and completed the unification of the whole country.After the political unrest in late Ming Dynasty, Shunzhi Qinghua ushered in the recovery period. On the world-wide objects, with a very obvious style of the end of the Ming, that is, solid body, clear glaze, rough technology, utensils to daily-used porcelain-based, but also incense, flowers and other porcelain supplies and furnaces, the shape of simple hard, handed down to the majority of the people’s kilns. Shunzhi blue-and-white is used in Zhejiang materials, blue-and-white tone can be roughly divided into;Dark blue, light blue, emerald blue, positive blue.Common decorative figures, Yunlong, flowers and birds, Bogu, rocks and so on.

Qing Kang Xi Green Flower Pine, Bamboo and Plum Lacquard

Kangxi Dynasty (AD 1662-1722), Emperor Kangxi is the third son of Emperor Shunzhi, the second emperor of the Qing Dynasty.During his reign, he pacified the Three Fans Rebellion, recovered Taiwan, expelled the Russian forces, quelled the unrest in Mongolia and Tibet, and strengthened the stability and reunification of the multi-ethnic countries.In economic and cultural construction, but also set a positive impact on later generations of major achievements, the period of economic and trade development, especially the porcelain making industry blue-and-white porcelain made outstanding achievements.Kangxi blue-and-white porcelain is famous for its fine embryo glaze, bright blue-and-white flowers, simple shape and beautiful decorative features.Collection will be Kangxi Qinghua divided into early, middle and late three periods: the early years of the first year of Kangxi to Kangxi 19 years;The middle period is from twenty years of Kangxi to forty years of Kangxi;The late period was from forty years to the end of Kangxi dynasty, among which the achievement of blue-and-white porcelain in the middle period of Kangxi was the most outstanding.Early use of Zhejiang blue materials, gray blue color, some of the hair color is darker, and Shunzhi blue similar characteristics.In addition to the mid-term use of pure “Zhejiang material”, part of the use of Yunnan produced “pearl material”, this color extract of the blue and blue green, bright and gorgeous, clean and not muddy, bright and not vulgar, some of the gemstone blue, near the Ming and Jiajing blue in the pan-purple characteristics.Kangxi blue and white flowers have five levels of color levels, that is, “head thick, thick, two thick, thin, shadow light” points, such as in Xuan paper painting, achieved “ink” effect, this is also Kangxi blue and white is highly respected by the world one of the important reasons.Late blue and white, color tends to be elegant, there is halo scattered.Kangxi blue flower decoration subject matter is extensive, the picture layout is ingenious and reasonable, and the modelling organic union together, the folk kiln blue flower in the decorative aspect, completely broke through the official kiln pattern standard fetter, appears more lively, the form variety, the subject matter pattern decoration atmosphere, mainly has: the landscape, the plant, Animals, characters (stories), Bogu, characters, and so on, full of life breath, has a high aesthetic value.

Qing Yong Zheng Qing Hua Lian (lotus) Shengguizi pot

Yongzheng Dynasty (AD 1723-1735) Emperor Yongzheng was the fourth son of Kangxi Emperor and the third emperor of Qing Dynasty, who reigned for 13 years.During his reign, he effectively improved the administration of officials, increased the revenue of the state treasury, stabilized the government, and laid a solid foundation for the prosperity of the Qianlong society.Although the Yongzheng Dynasty was short, Emperor Yongzheng made great efforts to govern, economic development, social stability, the government’s strong financial resources, and the domestic and foreign markets were active. On the basis of inheriting the Kangxi Dynasty’s porcelain-making technology, the porcelain-making technology had many innovations, changes and improvements, not only with many varieties, but also with a wide range of subjects. The modelling is diverse, and pay more attention to work efficiency than before.

Qingyongzheng blue-and-white antique pot

The blue-and-white porcelain of the Yongzheng period, no matter the shape and decoration, can be summed up with a “show” word, and Kangxi Qinghua straight, strong style is very different, but instead of soft, handsome style.Yongzheng porcelain pay attention to the large-shoulder small bottom, in order to simulate the effect of the Ming Xuande blue and white, artisans in painting, the use of blue and white materials in the painting, but not the use of imported green materials containing rust, in order to Xuande blue and white iron rust spot effect, blue and white in the distribution of natural, deep-glazed iron rust spot, Look carefully at the small pen dot-dye marks.

Qingyongzheng blue and white dragon and phoenix pattern jar

The blue-and-white porcelain of the Yongzheng people’s kiln had the style of the Kangxi Dynasty. Because of its long production time and great influence, the early Qing-hua of the Yongzheng Dynasty followed the style of the Kangxi Dynasty.From the emperor to the potter’s official of this dynasty, all the porcelain making had the consciousness of perfection and enterprising, which also promoted the improvement of the quality of the kiln.

Qinghua landscape pot of Qianlong in Qing Dynasty

Qianlong Emperor (1736-1795) was the fourth son of Emperor Yongzheng and the fourth emperor of the Qing Dynasty.Qianlong’s 60-year reign was the heyday of the feudal society in the Qing Dynasty. The porcelain production reached unprecedented prosperity and the blue-and-white porcelain reached its peak.Private kilns are flourishing.Blue-and-white porcelain was the main product of Jingdezhen porcelain at that time, and the quantity of burning of the blue-and-white porcelain of the official kiln and the folk kiln exceeded that of any other dynasty in history, and more than any other dynasty.The domestic ceramic market in Qianlong period was very large. According to the documents, the sales situation in the early and mid-Qing Dynasty was” Li Tong ten provinces, Quartet merchants, porcelain traffickers”.Jingdezhen export porcelain from Kangxi medium-term prosperity, to Qianlong when the most prosperous, blue-and-white porcelain is at that time the mass of society life used porcelain, display porcelain, export porcelain main body.Its inheritance of Kangxi, Yongzheng Qinghua characteristics, and on its basis continue to develop innovation, improve, reflected in the production skills to achieve unprecedented achievements, its green cobalt materials used domestic Zhejiang paint, hair color stability, thick, deep, early hair color and Yongzheng blue and white is not different, A little halo scattered, but more stable than the Yongzheng period;The medium-term color stable bright fast, for the pure blue;In the later stage, the color was more blue and black.

Qing dynasty qianlong green flower tangled branch lotus pattern pot

The painting method of Qianlong blue-and-white decoration is similar to Yongzheng’s. There are some methods, such as drawing flat coating and filling color, and then re-dyeing, which are applied to different works of different subjects.The outline is smooth and even, but compared with the Kangxi pattern, it lacks strength and vitality.There are many kinds of embellishment in Qianlong, there are red, rich and dense, there are also some fine pen light drawing, there are the same objects at the same time using blue and white flowers, blue and white glaze inside red, colorful, carved, colored glaze and other decorative techniques.In order to highlight the nobility of fine porcelain, Qianlong blue-and-white porcelain shape has reached the situation of nothing, blue-and-white porcelain creative pursuit of essence, wonder, ingenuity, regardless of cost, extreme performance.Its rich ancient and unsophisticated degree than Kangxi Qinghua, Junxiu level than Yongzheng Qinghua, but its production technology than Kang, Yong Qinghua.


Qingjiaching blue-and-white Kirin gift jar

Jiaqing Emperor (1796-1820) was the fifth emperor of Qing Dynasty and the 15th son of Qianlong Emperor.Twenty-five years in power.He eradicated the powerful officials and deans of the corrupt and corrupt officials, and took various measures to maintain the prosperity of Kang Qian, but the internal and external worries were heavy, and it was difficult to return.Due to the strong power of corruption and the lack of a new mechanism, it is difficult to escape from the fate of the river.The blue-and-white porcelain also gradually went downhill.Jiaqing’s early artifacts are basically the same as Qianlong’s, but the latter process is rough, heavy and clumsy, thin and gray glaze, spread green.Most of the blue-and-white decorative symbol is auspicious, such as: Kirin send children, Fu Lushou three-star, baby play pictures, twining flowers, etc., reflect the folk yearning and social worship.Since the beginning of this dynasty, the blue-and-white bottle-and-can type is obviously different from the three generations of the Qing Dynasty.

Qing Dao Guang Qing Hua Fu Lu Shou three star grain pot

Daoguang Dynasty (1821-1850) was the sixth emperor of the Qing Dynasty. Emperor Daoguang was the second son of Emperor Jiaqing.For 30 years on the throne.During his reign, due to the beginning of the decline of national strength, I strongly advocated thrift, the reform of salt policy, the rectification of official governance.But because corruption is so prevalent, resistance is too great to be effective.He initially tried to resist opium, but because he was ignorant of his time, the minister was weak and incompetent, and his strategy was uncertain. Instead, he persecuted the main anti-smoking force, could not resist the aggression of the powers and caused a century of regret.After the Opium War, the Qing government ceded land to compensate for the loss of national strength.Daoguang emperor known as frugal and simple, even at the beginning of the position, first cut the cost of intrauterine powder, porcelain also strive to be simple, limit the burning of imperial kiln, so this period Qinghua kiln mainly.

The green flowers of the kiln are mainly made of daily-used porcelain. The repair of the fetus is irregular.Blue and white color unstable, do not see blue and white color separation, blue and white material with gray black, dark hair.The painting method uses the blue material to draw, does not need the furrow to dye, its decoration mostly inheritsA picture of the Jiaqing Dynasty.

Xianfeng Dynasty (1851-1861), the seventh emperor of the Qing Dynasty, the fourth son of Emperor Daoguang.Eleven years in power.During the reign of the Qing Dynasty, the state treasury was empty and dangerous.Less than a year into the throne, the Taiping Rebellion, the eight-nation coalition fire Yuanmingyuan, Britain and France and other countries signed unequal treaties to cut land compensation.The early blue-and-white porcelain of Xianfeng was similar to the blue-and-white porcelain of Daoguang, and the glaze was similar to that of Daoguang, mainly with thin wavy glaze. There is a lot of floating feeling.

Tongzhi Dynasty (1862-1874), the eighth emperor of the Qing Dynasty.At the age of 5, he became the puppet of his mother, Empress Dowager Cixi, to listen to the government.The objects of this period are similar to those of the former dynasty in general: blue and white hair floating, the quality of the embryo loose, thin glaze, the union of the embryo glaze is not tight, the pattern is mainly auspicious.Blue-and-white decorative theme of birds, landscape, characters, Bo Gu, twining flowers, and so on.Tongzhi Qinghua and XianfengBlue and white flowers are very similar, white and not refined, slightly thick, some of the gray glaze is not clear.The instrument was stiff and clumsy.

The body of the body of the kiln is heavier than the blue and white flowers of the Xianfeng kiln, the quality of the fetus is soft and light, and some of them are thin and thin. The glaze is not smooth. Blue and white flowers also float on the glaze surface, lacking the sense of precipitation.


Qingguang Xu imitation Kangxi blue and white flower ice plum pattern tin

Guangxu Dynasty (AD 1875-1908), the ninth emperor of the Qing Dynasty.Guangxu Dynasty lasted 34 years, the early Empress Dowager Cixi twice hanging curtain to listen to the government.During his pro-government period, he strongly supported the reform and reform, advocated the westernization movement, industry to save the country, the development of national capital, this short period of prosperity, is known as” Tongguang ZTE. “In order to meet the needs of the court, the Qing government allocated large sums of money to make imperial porcelain in Jingdezhen, and strengthened the management of porcelain firing, which once improved the quantity and quality of Jingdezhen officials and kilns.

Qingguang Xu with Qin and visiting friends

A remarkable characteristic of Guangxu blue and white porcelain is that it is similar to Kangxi, Qinghua bottle-and-jar type, small bottom of abundant shoulder, repair garden, show the characteristics of “three generations of Qing Dynasty”, good imitation porcelain, blue and white, glaze water has come close to or reached the level of Kangxi porcelain, Many things” Kangxi year “, so at this time the blue-and-white porcelain is now known as” well-off” but most of the blue-and-white porcelain has obvious light xu characteristics, that is, blue-and-white through the water-sharing painting method can reach many levels, but with Kangxi blue-and-white is different, Kangxi blue-and-white color sink under the glaze, Deep in the fetal bone, Guangxu blue and white hair color in the glaze, color floating.In the application of glaze, and the obvious difference between the previous dynasty is that most of Guangxu blue and white glaze does not show a tire.This period of the kiln blue and white varieties, styles are different, coarse and fine, blue and white hair color is also diverse, there are pure indigo, there are turbid gray, there is the use of chemical blue blue hair color.Guangxu blue-and-white decoration is very rich, all in the former dynasty can see the decorative, Guangxu Dynasty are drawn.

Xuantong Dynasty (1909-1911 AD), Xuantong Emperor was the last emperor of the Qing Dynasty.February 12,1911, in the 1911 Revolution abdicated.After that, he lived in the palace as an emperor.On November 5,1924, Feng Yuxiang was expelled from the palace.The reign of Emperor Xuantong lasted only three years and lasted a short time. The blue-and-white porcelain was basically an extension of Qinghua in Guangxu.Xuantong two years (1910), by the Qing government in Jingdezhen established the “Jiangxi Ceramics Company”, the main factory in Jingdezhen, branch factory in Poyang, the company gathered at the end of the Qing Dynasty a number of outstanding porcelain industry personages, they tried the machine making porcelain and coal kiln porcelain, adopted the advanced method at that time, Some people kiln blue-and-white porcelain of the body is thin and thin, the fetal quality is fine and smooth.Xuantong kiln blue-and-white porcelain is the same as Guangxu blue-and-white porcelain, there is no obvious difference, blue-and-white porcelain varieties than Guangxu when less, the kiln blue-and-white porcelain is cheap and durable.Therefore, the Xuantong kiln blue-and-white porcelain body seen at present is thick, clumsy, simple repair, the bottom of the foot stick with kiln sand, blue-and-white floating, modern porcelain characteristics, at this time Jingdezhen blue-and-white porcelain tends to decline.