Chinoiserie

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Glossaries

Term Definition
Chinoiserie

a style in art (as in decoration) reflecting Chinese qualities or motifs; also :  an object or decoration in this style.

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.

 

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