Classic underglaze blue is probably the most famous kind of Chinese porcelain and it has always formed the backbone of the Vanderven collection. Blue & White porcelains, were amongst the first Chinese ceramics to arrive in The Netherlands in 1602 - after the looting of a fully loaded Portuguese caraca ship. Beautiful and exotic, the porcelain was hailed for its vibrant colour, translucency and decoration. It became so popular, that demand soon outstripped supply - so much so, it went on to be copied by the Delft potters, who never quite attained the light body or white colour of pure hard paste porcelain. The Dutch East India Company (VOC), who were largely responsible for the large scale import of porcelain from China, ensured a lasting love of blue and white porcelain in The Netherlands, which remains to this day.
In our library we have several books dedicated to just blue & white porcelain. The latest addition is the new publication by Anne Gerritsen – The City of Blue and White : Chinese Porcelain and the Early Modern World – now available online.
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