Synopsis: “Chinoiserie: A Vision of the Far East from Europe, 13th-14th century” by Margaret White – 03 Dec 2012

Synopsis: “Chinoiserie: A Vision of the Far East from Europe, 13th-14th century” by Margaret White – 03 Dec 2012

Chinese export blue and white plate with Flowers of the Four Seasons
Chinese export silver box possibly for tobacco
The Chinese pavilion at Drottningholm Palace in Stockholm, Sweden
Chinoiserie as a decorative, artistic style was a term only coined in the late 19th century to describe Europe’s fantasy vision of China and the East, including India, Persia and Japan. However, this phenomenon commenced from the 13th and 14th centuries, as ancient explorers and travellers’ accounts reached Europe and heralded by the arrival of luxury goods, such as silk, ivory and tea.

The style was characterized by asymmetry in format and whimsical contrasts of scale. Chinoiserie affected every area of design and decor but especially the passion for blue and white porcelain. Porcelain began a mania for all things ‘Chinese.’

This illustrated talk traced the desire for chinoiserie through several revivals over successive centuries with examples from Britain, France, Holland, Germany and Sweden. Throughout, ceramics remained in popular demand, both as export products and as wares being imitated and adapted by other countries.

 
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