Definition of chinoiserie in English:



mass noun
  • 1A decorative style in Western art, furniture, and architecture, especially in the 18th century, characterized by the use of Chinese motifs and techniques.

    as modifier ‘hand-painted chinoiserie wallpaper’
    • ‘As the taste for chinoiserie flourished, textiles such as chintz, wallpapers, screens and cabinets freely incorporated Asian motifs both real and imagined.’
    • ‘A passion for Chinese motifs - chinoiserie - preceded and paved the way.’
    • ‘But the word singeries (French singe: ape or monkey) is usually restricted to a particular phase of chinoiserie during the French Régence period.’
    • ‘The look brought together Far Eastern inspiration and Western craftsmanship, creating the foundation for the style known as chinoiserie, which is still popular today.’
    • ‘Pagoda Trellis is based on a fragment of a silk panel hand painted in France in the eighteenth century in response to the European rage for chinoiserie that pervaded every aspect of interior decoration.’
    • ‘Since the vogue for chinoiserie included keeping exotic animals, the manufacture of porcelain animals is understandable.’
    • ‘Both sets in Plate X display many of the fashionable features of the day they are engraved in the popular chinoiserie style, and some pieces have trifid ends.’
    • ‘It is stripped down chinoiserie, all wood and fretting, strictly rectilinear, lugubrious.’
    • ‘I was charmed by the delicate chinoiserie of the animation style, especially the title credits.’
    • ‘The Beauforts brought their boundless enthusiasm for chinoiserie to Badminton, and in so doing created two of the most remarkable rooms in England.’
    • ‘He developed an extensive decorative program, concentrating almost entirely on chinoiserie.’
    • ‘A later Walter Moorcroft vase reached £780 and a 19th century potichomania glass vase and cover printed with chinoiserie sold well at £500.’
    • ‘With French and German influences came chinoiserie, which was first introduced in the Palazzo Reale in Turin, and would spread all the way to Palermo.’
    • ‘These techniques were used to meet the market for more exaggerated chinoiserie, to create large-scale pieces for grand Western interiors, and to give a greater sense of overall elaboration.’
    • ‘One of the most successful styles adopted by carvers of rococo overmantels was chinoiserie.’
    • ‘In the first quarter of the century chinoiserie was a popular style, exemplified by the pearl and diamond pagoda-shaped earrings of the 1820s shown in Plates IIIa and IIIb.’
    • ‘The elaborate epergne, made by Thomas Pitts of London in 1761, bespeaks the chinoiserie influence on late rococo English decorative arts.’
    • ‘A former editor-in-chief of Elle Decoration, Leece was commissioned by publisher Periplus Editions last September to examine the global appetite for chinoiserie.’
    • ‘Snow, one of the features of the chinoiserie here, is frequently associated in Prynne's work with the limits of survival and habitation.’
    • ‘The Parnassians contributed to the cultivation of this taste for chinoiserie.’
    1. 1.1 Chinoiserie objects or decorations.
      ‘his apartment was filled with chinoiserie’
      • ‘The interiors are all original chinoiseries and stained glass, oil paintings, Meissen porcelain, taffeta and silk.’
      • ‘Dating to around 1760-75, many bear delicate but thickly applied ‘high-relief’ polychrome enamelled flowers, exotic birds, fruit, chinoiseries and gilt-scrolled borders characteristic of contemporary Chelsea porcelain.’
      • ‘Based on a Korean fairy-tale, this light and witty piece of chinoiserie tells the story of a Mandarin's daughter who is engaged to a rich Ambassador but loves an impoverished youth.’
      • ‘Gift-shop ceramic chinoiseries are mounted on some canvases.’
      • ‘In such images, Chinese workshops played on European taste so well that one could almost describe them as Chinese-executed chinoiseries.’
      • ‘Or is the reference to ‘Esdala’ no more than a plausible fiction, and the picture a pleasant Chinese fantasy, equivalent to the whimsical chinoiseries concocted in Europe a century before?’
      • ‘In lieu of actually traveling to these exotic places, people surrounded themselves with chinoiserie, or prints, ceramics, silver, furniture, textiles, and architectural elements reflecting a medley of Asian designs.’
      • ‘Reber suggested that the artist may have been interpreting (albeit very loosely) some engravings by Jean Pillement, whose chinoiseries were quite widely known at the time, but this is difficult to confirm.’
      • ‘La Maison's range of originals spans the 18th and 19th centuries, with gilded-cherub motifs, lacquered black chinoiserie and caned beds.’


Late 19th century: from French, from chinois ‘Chinese’.