Domestic Chinoiserie

Chinoiserie, the style reflecting the European fascination with China in art, made its way into every medium by the 18th century. Europeans artists depicted China as a world of exotic difference in paintings, prints, architecture, and household objects. European manufacturers of porcelain – “china” – attempted to mimic what they saw as Chinese motifs. These representations, many of which still resonate today, were seen neither as purely invented nor as strictly accurate; instead, claims of authenticity and fantasy coexist.


Kambra, Two Original Chinese Songs Jones, Lyric airs Travels in China
Two Original Chinese Songs
Karl Kambra
London, 1796?
Lyric Airs...
Edward Jones
London, 1804
Travels in China
John Barrow
Philadelphia, 1805


Idol of the Goddess Ki Mao Sao Pillement, Differentes Figures Chinoises Pillement, Pair of Decorative Screens
Idol of the Goddess Ki Mao Sao
Michel Aubert, after Antoine Watteau
French, about 1729
Differentes Figures Chinoises
Jean-Baptiste Pillement
London, 1758
Pair of Decorative Screens
Jean-Baptiste Pillement
French, after 1780



Next Collection: China on the European Operatic Stage