The scene is taken from a series of paintings by Francesco Albani (1578-1660) representing 'The Four Elements', the present example being 'Air' and is a fanciful illustration of Virgil, Aeneid, 1:50-86 in which Juno, who personifies Air, persuades Aeolus to unloose 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 on the sea.
A set of four plates representing Water, Earth, Fire and Air, is illustrated by G. C. Williamson, The Book of Famille Rose, 1970, pl.XXXIX. It is very rare to find a teapot-stand with this design; for a teapot, see D. Howard and J. Ayers, China for the West, 1978, vol. II, fig. 327, p.331. 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, Catalogue, no.57, pp.136 and 137. A dish was sold in these Rooms, 16 March 1981, lot 274.