Wednesday May 20 2020
The City of Blue and White by Anne Gerritsen
‘The City of Blue and White- Chinese Porcelain and the Early Modern world’ by Anne Gerritsen
We think of blue and white porcelain as the ultimate global commodity: throughout East and Southeast Asia, the Indian Ocean including the African coasts, the Americas and Europe, consumers desired Chinese porcelains. Many of these were made in the kilns in and surrounding Jingdezhen. Found in almost every part of the world, Jingdezhen’s porcelains had a far-reaching impact on global consumption, which in turn shaped the local manufacturing processes. The imperial kilns of Jingdezhen produced ceramics for the court, while nearby private kilns manufactured for the global market. In this beautifully illustrated study, Anne Gerritsen asks how this kiln complex could manufacture such quality, quantity and variety. She explores how objects tell the story of the past, connecting texts with objects, objects with natural resources, and skilled hands with the shapes and designs they produced. Through the manufacture and consumption of Jingdezhen’s porcelains, she argues, China participated in the early modern world.
Anne Gerritsen is Professor of History and directs the Global History and Culture Centre at the University of Warwick. Since 2013, she has also held the Chair of Asian Art at the Universiteit Leiden where she teaches at the Leiden Institute for Area Studies (LIAS) and the Leiden University Centre for the Arts in Society (LUCAS).