Painted enamels were first imported from Europe in Kangxi Emperor's reign, and by the thirtieth year of his regime at the latest, the Chinese painters had mastered the techniques of producing fine enamel work. Under the Qianlong emperor's reign, the artists in the Imperial workshops attained even higher standards in the production, and the painting style evolved, incorporating the Western perspective and techniques such as the effect of chiaroscuro, into the traditional Chinese painting style. The Qianlong emperor preferred painted enamel decoration to be 'dense' and 'delicate', and at the very start of his reign he was already encouraging the employment of Canton enemellers, attracting many artists who had constant contact with the West through the trading activities and the religious missionaries. Court painters such as Castiligone and his pupils were also very influential in the development of the painting style of this period.
One of the features that can be seen on the present jardinierè was the dense Western-style scroll decoration mixed with auspicious Chinese motifs such as bats and ruyi. A dish in the National Palace Museum, Taibei, also featuring bats mixed with Western-style motifs, is illustrated in Enamel Ware in the Ming and Ch'ing Dynasties, Taibei, 1999, no,122, p.237. Compare also another vase illustrated in op. cit., no.146, p.267, which has a panel of similar composition to the present lot, but is thought to have been produced in Canton.