Friday, January 15, 2010


Chinoiserie, from 'chinois' the French for Chinese, was a style inspired by art and design from China, Japan and other Asian countries. It was very popular in the 18th century particularly in France and Britain where porcelain, silk and lacquerware imported from China and Japan were extremely fashionable. Designers and craftsmen set out to imitate Asian designs and to create their own fanciful versions of the East. Even Louis XV of France had a number of rooms in his palace done up in Chinoiserie style and popular motiffs include birds, Chinese cranes, pagodas and cherry blossom branches. Today, some of the most beautiful wallpapers are Chinoiserie in style. When I look at such images, I can't help thinking of the story "The Emperor and the Nightingal".

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