January 27th, 2019

words 6

Sunday Word: Chinoiserie

chinoiserie [sheen-wah-zuh-ree]
noun:
1. A decorative style in Western art, furniture, and architecture, especially in the 18th century, characterized by the use of Chinese motifs and techniques.
1.1. Chinoiserie objects or decorations

Examples:

Recently I planned a small boudoir in a country house that depended on a gay Chinoiserie paper for its charm. (Elsie de Wolfe, The House in Good Taste)

Garner shows a Lambeth mug embodying this style of decoration combined with a suggestion of Chinoiserie around the waist. (C Malcolm Watkins, The Cultural History of Marlborough, Virginia)

... and of course coms visual examples.

Origin:

In 1670, King Louis XIV had the Trianon de Porcelaine erected at Versailles. It was a small structure-a pleasure house built for the king's mistress-and it was decorated with chinoiserie and faced with faience tiles with a blue and white chinoiserie pattern. The building persists in history as the first major example of chinoiserie-the English word is borrowed straight from French, which based the word on chinois, its word for "Chinese"-but the trend it began long outlasted the building itself, which was destroyed a mere 17 years later to make way for the Grand Trianon. Chinoiserie itself was popular throughout the 17th and 18th centuries and enjoyed a brief revival in the 1930s. And people still enjoy it today. (Merriam Webster)