Chinese porcelain decorated with Western subjects represents a specific area in the porcelain trade of the East Indies Company, as it is still known in the Lusophone world. In recent years it has not drawn the attention it deserves from researchers and academics in Portugal.
At its basis are engravings, drawings, paintings and many other sources of inspiration which, especially during the eighteenth century, were shipped to China where they were then, to a greater or lesser degree of skill, copied by Chinese artists and emerged as porcelain objects commissioned by Europeans and Americans.
From this viewpoint, From East to West: The quest for Chinese Export Porcelain with Western Themes (1695-1815), is a pioneering work in the Portuguese market, being dedicated entirely to such a particular and fascinating subject.
The private collection presented here was built up over more than twenty years and illustrates precisely the subject under discussion. The book is complemented by excellent photographic work that highlights, in the almost two hundred pieces pictured, the main European subjects reproduced in Chinese porcelain.
The publication is further complemented by the presentation of a set of engravings from the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, illustrating some of the ports that were at the time engaged in the trade with the Far East.
Filomena Cunha Alves has a degree in History from the University of Lisbon, having taught, throughout her life, at several universities within the fields of History, Social Sciences and Management. Paulo Cunha Alves has a degree in International Relations from the University of Lisbon and is a diplomat.