Baroque and Beyond C. 1600–1850

Rococo and the Eighteenth Century

What is chinoiserie?

The word chinoiserie comes from French and roughly translates to “Chinese-esque.” As European explorers reached increasingly distant locations across the globe during the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, Europe became more and more exposed to diverse art and culture. Chinese art was particularly popular during the nineteenth century, and the wealthy collected Chinese porcelain, sculpture, and other decorative arts; European artists eventually began to incorporate Chinese design elements into their own decorative arts. In 1762, a ten-story Chinese-style pagoda was built in Kew Gardens in London, and serves as an example of the both the rococo aesthetic and Western interest in Asian style.


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