In 1743, following an order of the Qianlong emperor, Tang Ying (1682-1756), imperial supervisor at Jingdezhen from 1728 to 1756, traveled to Beijing and there annotated a now lost set of twenty paintings illustrating the manufacture of porcelain from "Mining the Stone and Preparing the Paste." to "Wrapping in Straw and Packing in Cases," For the full description see Tang Ying's annotations for "The Twenty Illustrations of the Manufacture of Porcelain," translated and with comments by S. W. Bushell, reprinted together with historical prints and contemporary photographs of porcelain-making in Robert Tichane, Ching-Te-Chen: Views of a Porcelain City, New York, 1983, pp. 131-70.
The porcelain manufacture paintings are executed with gouache-type colors on to a xuan paper prepared with a ground of lead white, alum and animal glue. Several steps of the successive manufacturing process are often depicted on one sheet. The paintings are interesting in that they are accurate in their depiction of technical detail, but are set in fanciful and idyllic surroundings far removed from the realities of Jingdezhen where porcelain was produced.
A set of thirteen, but of smaller size, is in the Peabody Essex Museum in Salem, Massachusetts some of which are illustrated and discussed in Carl Crossman, The Decorative Arts of the China Trade, Woodbridge, Suffolk, 1991, pp. 178 and 179. Seven of the set, dated to the late 18th century, of the same large dimensions, currently in the Victoria and Albert Museum, London are illustrated and discussed in Craig Clunas, Chinese Export Watercolours, London, 1984, pp. 27-31. For one of the paintings in this splendid series, see M. Beurdeley & G.Raindre, Qing Porcelain, Famille Rose, Famille Verte, pl. 25, p. 32; and for another example from the collection of the British Museum, see D. Lunsingh Scheurleer, Chinese Export Porcelain, pl. 55