CEEH Centro de Estudios Europa Hispánica

Chinese Porcelain in Habsburg Spain


Cinta Krahe


600 pages; 345 color illustrations; hardcover; 17,5 x 28 cm


English; 2016





Although Spain was one of the main commercial and colonial powers of the Modern Age, its role in the circulation of Chinese export porcelain was far from being very clear. The present work, which examines the reception of pieces of this kind during the reign of the Habsburgs, is therefore intended to fill an important gap.

Together with lacquered objects and exotica, porcelain circulated throughout the Spanish Empire, passing through the Americas, but until now there had been no record of the pieces that reached the Spanish market. However, Krahe reconstructs the journey of this porcelain ware from southern China, analysing what it was like, how it was displayed and stored, to what uses it was put and how it was valued in sixteenth- and seventeenth-century Spain.

Based on thorough archival research, a systematic survey of archaeological discoveries, a rich documentary corpus and a great deal of illustrations, the author provides an insight into a hitherto unknown aspect, opening up new perspectives for historians, art historians, and historians of material culture and taste.

Cinta Krahe holds a Ph.D from Leiden University and an M.A degree in Chinese Art and Archaeology from the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), University of London. She is associate lecturer at the Universidad Autónoma de Madrid and has taught “East Asian Decorative Arts and Material Culture” at the Universidad de Alcalá and the Universidad Nebrija, Madrid. She was one of the curators of the exhibition Orientando la Mirada. Arte Asiático en colecciones públicas madrileñas (Madrid, 2009) and was also in charge of cataloguing the Chinese porcelain salvaged from the San Diego galleon in the Naval Museum, Madrid.