Encre de Chine 1725-1775
The use of black enamel in imitation of drawings or prints was first developed at the end of the reign of the Kangxi emperor (1662-1722) and the Yongzheng reign (1723-1730). Chinese porcelains decorated in ink colour became popular in Europe around 1740, and until about 1790 continental clients continued to order them, especially for armorials, because the ink-colour process so readily duplicated the engraved bookplates supplied to the decorators as source materials. The technique may have been developed first for use on glass in the 1660s in Germany, where it was called schwarzlot. Eighteenth-century shipping records sometimes may have referenced it as pencilled ware because it was executed with a thin brush called a pencil. Albert Jacquemart dubbel it encre-de-Chine. Another name Jesuit ware was used still later due in part to the many examples of ceramics with religious motifs that incorporated this technique. En grisaille, another popular term used to refer to this technique, is inappropriate as it refers to works in various media in shades of gray and brown, and it does not convey the quality or technique evident in them. The Dutch terms were zwart geemailleerd or zwart goed (black-eneameled or black goods), and the state inventory of Johannes van Bergen van der Gijp (1713-1784) lists his porcelain as swarte kunst (black art). Works incorporating the reddish enamel known in China as zhucai (yellowish-red colour-or sepia often are grouped with ink-colour wares as well. (Sargent 2012, pp.333-334)
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