chinoiserie

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chinoiserie

(shēnwäzrē`), decorative work produced under the influence of Chinese art, applied particularly to the more fanciful and extravagant manifestations. Intimations of Eastern art reached Europe in the Middle Ages in the porcelains brought by returning travelers. Eastern trade was maintained during the intervening centuries, and the East India trading companies of the 17th and 18th cent. imported Chinese lacquers and porcelains. Dutch ceramics quickly showed the influence of Chinese blue-and-white porcelains. In the middle of the 18th cent. the enthusiasm for Chinese objects affected practically every decorative art applied to interiors, furniture, tapestries, and bibelots and supplied artisans with fanciful motifs of scenery, human figures, pagodas, intricate lattices, and exotic birds and flowers. In France the Louis XV style gave especial opportunities to chinoiserie, as it blended well with the established rococorococo
, style in architecture, especially in interiors and the decorative arts, which originated in France and was widely used in Europe in the 18th cent. The term may be derived from the French words rocaille and coquille
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. Whole rooms, such as those at Chantilly, were painted with compositions in chinoiserie, and Watteau and other artists brought consummate craftsmanship to the style. Thomas Chippendale, the chief exponent in England, produced a unique and decorative type of furniture. The craze early reached the American colonies. Chinese objects, particularly fine wallpapers, played an important role in the adornment of rooms, and especially in Philadelphia the style had a pronounced effect upon design.

Bibliography

See study by H. Honour (1961).

Chinoiserie

A Western style of architecture and decoration, utilizing Chinese design elements.

chinoiserie

A Western European and English architectural and decorative fashion employing Chinese ornamentation and structural elements, particularly in 18th cent. Rococo design.

chinoiserie

1. a style of decorative or fine art based on imitations of Chinese motifs
2. an object or objects in this style
References in periodicals archive ?
9) The Royal Pavilion, the lavish oriental residence created at Brighton by the Prince of Wales, later George IV, between 1802 and 1823 contained the most admired and influential chinoiserie interiors of the day.
18) Prints made after Boucher's own chinoiserie designs, including the Suitte de figures Chinoises, were copied for the painted decoration of the Kina Slott, the Chinese pavilion in the grounds of the royal palace at Drottningholm, near Stockholm, which was built in its present form between 1763 and 1769.
A third possible source is the decoration of the Royal Pavilion, which featured many chinoiserie figures.
The use of Chinese characters to create attractive but meaningless chinoiserie decoration originated in the books on China that were published by the Jesuits in the second half of the 17th century.
Although it was initially resisted, Chambers's chinoiserie vocabulary did eventually also find favour in England.
30) Statuettes of Budai Hoshang lounging against his bag were imported into Europe from the 17th century onwards, and he was adopted as a decorative chinoiserie motif.
The chinoiserie dragon contained elements from both the wingless Chinese mythological creature and from the stylised dragons of the European grotesque tradition.
It is sometimes thought that the Royal Pavilion represents the last, isolated flourish of the chinoiserie style in England.
3) Three designs for chinoiserie pavilions associated with Esher Place have been attributed to Kent.