A Natural History of Porcelain: Jacquemart and Le Blant's Taxonomy of Japanese Design

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

2 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

This article examines the presentation of Japanese culture in Albert Jacquemart and Edmond Le Blant’s Histoire Artistique, Industrielle, et Commerciale de la Porcelaine. Published in 1861, Jacquemart and Le Blant’s compendium offered the first comprehensive survey of Japanese porcelain in France and the first interpretation of Japanese culture through ceramic form. By closely reading Jacquemart and Le Blant’s images and text, I investigate how Japan’s initial association with porcelain both counterposed the island nation to China and placed it within the aesthetic and cultural company of France. The volume’s descriptive treatment and diagrammatic presentation of Japan further suggest that Japanese culture can be mapped through its ceramic morphologies, approximated and experienced through textures, touch-codes, and surface décor. In this regard, the ceramic compendium sets an early precedent for Japanese objects as the prime mediators of Japanese culture in Second-Empire France. Compiled as an empirical study of ceramic surfaces and form, Jacquemart and Le Blant’s survey participates in the positivist discourse of the late nineteenth century and ultimately presents the porcelain vessel as a specimen of Japan’s distinct, decorative culture.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)28-46
Number of pages18
JournalL'Esprit Créateur
Volume56
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2016

Fingerprint

Taxonomy
Japanese Culture
Porcelain
France
Japan
Compendium
Empirical Study
China
Texture
Second Empire
Positivist
Descriptive
Vessel
Mediator
Discourse
Aesthetics

Cite this

@article{39ccfaa280ae49d1a6abc0aa6d2e0f77,
title = "A Natural History of Porcelain: Jacquemart and Le Blant's Taxonomy of Japanese Design",
abstract = "This article examines the presentation of Japanese culture in Albert Jacquemart and Edmond Le Blant’s Histoire Artistique, Industrielle, et Commerciale de la Porcelaine. Published in 1861, Jacquemart and Le Blant’s compendium offered the first comprehensive survey of Japanese porcelain in France and the first interpretation of Japanese culture through ceramic form. By closely reading Jacquemart and Le Blant’s images and text, I investigate how Japan’s initial association with porcelain both counterposed the island nation to China and placed it within the aesthetic and cultural company of France. The volume’s descriptive treatment and diagrammatic presentation of Japan further suggest that Japanese culture can be mapped through its ceramic morphologies, approximated and experienced through textures, touch-codes, and surface d{\'e}cor. In this regard, the ceramic compendium sets an early precedent for Japanese objects as the prime mediators of Japanese culture in Second-Empire France. Compiled as an empirical study of ceramic surfaces and form, Jacquemart and Le Blant’s survey participates in the positivist discourse of the late nineteenth century and ultimately presents the porcelain vessel as a specimen of Japan’s distinct, decorative culture.",
author = "Emily Brink",
year = "2016",
doi = "10.1353/esp.2016.0025",
language = "English",
volume = "56",
pages = "28--46",
journal = "L'Esprit Cr{\'e}ateur",
issn = "0014-0767",
publisher = "Johns Hopkins University Press",
number = "3",

}

A Natural History of Porcelain : Jacquemart and Le Blant's Taxonomy of Japanese Design. / Brink, Emily.

In: L'Esprit Créateur, Vol. 56, No. 3, 2016, p. 28-46.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

TY - JOUR

T1 - A Natural History of Porcelain

T2 - Jacquemart and Le Blant's Taxonomy of Japanese Design

AU - Brink, Emily

PY - 2016

Y1 - 2016

N2 - This article examines the presentation of Japanese culture in Albert Jacquemart and Edmond Le Blant’s Histoire Artistique, Industrielle, et Commerciale de la Porcelaine. Published in 1861, Jacquemart and Le Blant’s compendium offered the first comprehensive survey of Japanese porcelain in France and the first interpretation of Japanese culture through ceramic form. By closely reading Jacquemart and Le Blant’s images and text, I investigate how Japan’s initial association with porcelain both counterposed the island nation to China and placed it within the aesthetic and cultural company of France. The volume’s descriptive treatment and diagrammatic presentation of Japan further suggest that Japanese culture can be mapped through its ceramic morphologies, approximated and experienced through textures, touch-codes, and surface décor. In this regard, the ceramic compendium sets an early precedent for Japanese objects as the prime mediators of Japanese culture in Second-Empire France. Compiled as an empirical study of ceramic surfaces and form, Jacquemart and Le Blant’s survey participates in the positivist discourse of the late nineteenth century and ultimately presents the porcelain vessel as a specimen of Japan’s distinct, decorative culture.

AB - This article examines the presentation of Japanese culture in Albert Jacquemart and Edmond Le Blant’s Histoire Artistique, Industrielle, et Commerciale de la Porcelaine. Published in 1861, Jacquemart and Le Blant’s compendium offered the first comprehensive survey of Japanese porcelain in France and the first interpretation of Japanese culture through ceramic form. By closely reading Jacquemart and Le Blant’s images and text, I investigate how Japan’s initial association with porcelain both counterposed the island nation to China and placed it within the aesthetic and cultural company of France. The volume’s descriptive treatment and diagrammatic presentation of Japan further suggest that Japanese culture can be mapped through its ceramic morphologies, approximated and experienced through textures, touch-codes, and surface décor. In this regard, the ceramic compendium sets an early precedent for Japanese objects as the prime mediators of Japanese culture in Second-Empire France. Compiled as an empirical study of ceramic surfaces and form, Jacquemart and Le Blant’s survey participates in the positivist discourse of the late nineteenth century and ultimately presents the porcelain vessel as a specimen of Japan’s distinct, decorative culture.

U2 - 10.1353/esp.2016.0025

DO - 10.1353/esp.2016.0025

M3 - Article

VL - 56

SP - 28

EP - 46

JO - L'Esprit Créateur

JF - L'Esprit Créateur

SN - 0014-0767

IS - 3

ER -