University Collections of Art and History

Object Record

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Catalog Number 2016.31.1
Object Name Plate, Soup
Description This plate shows a rare view of an actual Chinese place (an imperial palace no less) and also exemplifies the complex process by which designs moved around the world as a result of global trade.

The lakeside temple and pagoda are part of the Kangxi emperor's summer palace at Jehol, in Northern China. In 1712, the emperor wrote a series of poems about the estate, which was illustrated with woodblock prints by the Chinese artist Shen Yu.

In turn, these woodblock prints were engraved by Matteo Ripa, an Italian missionary who introduced copper plate printing to China, and published as Thirty-Six Views of the Imperial Summer Palace at Jehol in 1714. Both the woodblocks and engravings show the use of European linear perspective, combining western painting techniques with traditional Chinese ones.

Ripa's engravings made their way to London, where in 1753 they were republished as The Emperor of China's Palace at Pekin, and his Principle Gardens. The publishers "improved" the scenes with the addition of oversized boats, people, palm trees, and exotic birds.

Plate 6 from The Emperor of China's Palace at Pekin was copied by the potters John and William Ridway. They did not know, or possibly even care, that it depicted a Daoist temple in an Imperial palace in China, and so called the pattern "India Temple."
Year Range from 1820
Year Range to 1830
Material Pearlware (Lead-Glazed Earthenware)
Place of Origin Made by John and William Ridgway, Staffordshire, England
Artist John and William Ridgway
Collection The Reeves Center
Credit line Museum Purchase with Funds Provided by the Transferware Collectors Club
On View Reeves Center, European Gallery
Gallery ID Number 117