Famille noire uses a black ground (although some clobbered wares had the black added in the 19th century).
Famille rose (also known as fencai or ruan cai, meaning 'soft colours', and later as yang cai, meaning 'foreign colours') was introduced during the reign of Kangxi (1654-1722), possibly around 1720. It used mainly pink or purple and remained popular throughout the 18th and the 19th centuries.
Famille rose enamel ware allows a greater range of colour and tone than was previously possible, enabling the depiction of more complex images, including flowers, figures and insects.
It is made by drawing a sketch on the shaped clay, which is then covered with ‘glassy white’ (bo li bai), an opaque white enamel (lead arsenate), and painted in detail with the mixture of pigment and oil, before firing.