The German term for an independent painter or workshop specializing in the decoration of faience, porcelain or glass blanks. Usually very rare and high quality work.
White wares obtained from a factory and painted at home by a Hausmaler (freelance home painter or decorator), most of whom were German or Bohemian. The practice began in the 17th century and was common in the 18th century.
From the time when enamel decoration was beginning to be added to white porcelain blanks in Canton for the export trade, undecorated, glazed and fully fired blanks were available in Canton for sale as they were.
Competition with factory-painted wares became so intense that supplies of white western porcelain were stopped, and decorators had to obtain it by devious means or remove factory decorations with acid to provide a suitable ground. Patrons of this work were usually private individuals who sought unusual pieces.
It is generally thought that the western porcelain was second grade and discarded by the European porcelain factories while the Chinese blanks was probably of normal grade.
Hausmalerie was most common around the mid 18th century, from the 1730s and onwards for a few decades. These European workshops bought blanks from European porcelain factories too, and we even have the name on some of these workshops.
The earliest examples of Hausmalerei work occur on 17th-century German tin-glazed earthenware, or faience; it varies considerably in quality, but the best ranks with the most distinguished French faience and Italian majolica painting. The finest Hausmalerei were done on 18th-century Meissen and Vienna porcelain. The most gifted artists were Johann Aufenwerth, Bartholomäus Seuter, Franz Mayer, and Johann Metzsch, who worked mainly on Meissen porcelain, and Ignaz Bottengruber and Daniel Preussler, who worked on both Meissen and Vienna porcelain.