Why blue and white porcelain is used in classic interiors

Around the late 1600s, blue and white porcelain for export became very popular during the reign of Emperor Kangxi, as decorating rooms with porcelain became popular in Europe at the time. The popularisation of this fashion is credited to the French Hugenot Daniel Marot (1661-1752), the court dessinateur of King Stadholder William III and his English wife Queen Mary II.

* Sydney Ralph Lauren Store

He became famous in the European decorative arts world for his work on the interior of Hampton Court Palace, which William III hoped to rival Louis XIV's Versailles. At Hampton Court Palace, Marot went a step further and came up with designs that fully integrated ceramics rather than placing separate ceramic objects within rooms. Marot’s had a far reaching influence on the way ceramics were displayed and arranged, and consequently became part of the interior.

The "Porcelain Room" in Charlottenburg Palace, which was completed in 1706

He incorporated porcelain into room detailing, along the top of cornices, up tiered fireplace overmantels, on corner hanging brackets, inside door reveals. This is called Chinoiserie, an oriental interior style that adds details to the existing Baroque style. The style was to be fair, known in France, but the popularisation of this striking usage was largely his achievement; initially in Holland, latterly in England at Hampton Court and elsewhere. Since then, interior design using ceramics has become the pattern

So popular were these arrangements that special orders were placed with porcelain factories in China to produce quantities of small decorative vases and jars that served no practical purpose, but would look impressive when arranged in groups. In 1989 a shipwreck known as the Vung Tao was discovered off the coast of Vietnam, with a partriculalrly well-preserved cargo of porcelain that can be dated to the reign of Emperor Kangxi (1662-1722). This cargo contained vast quantities of this type of “Marot ware” used for decorative displays.


References : Christies <Dutch Interior>, Ralph Lauren Home, danielmarot.org

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