This scene is a fanciful interpretation of Virgil, Aeneid, 1:50-86, in which Juno, who personifies 'Air', persuades Aeolus to release the winds on the Etruscan seas in an attempt to destroy Aeneas and his fleet. The winds, in the form of mischievous putti, were kept in a cave set into the side of a mountain. The scene depicted shows Aeolus opening the door to the cave thereby releasing the winds.
A similar plate from the W. Martin-Hurst Collection is illustrated by G. C. Williamson, The Book of Famille Rose, London, 1927, plate XXXIX (bottom right). Another is illustrated by Hervouët and Bruneau, La Porcelaine des Compagnies des Indes à Décor Occidental, Paris, 1986, colour plate 13.93. See Howard and Ayers, China for the West, 1978, vol. II, fig. 327, p. 331 for a teapot with this scene from the Mottahedeh Collection. A plate with this design, formerly in the Franks Collection, is in the British Museum, exhibited Ancient Chinese Trade Ceramics from the British Museum, Taibei, 1994, no.57, pp.136 and 137. In these Rooms, a dish was sold 16 March 1981, lot 274; a teapot-stand was sold 16 November 1999, lot 373; and a teabowl and saucer was sold 11 May 2004, lot 162.