Definition of chinoiserie in English:



  • 1The imitation or evocation of Chinese motifs and techniques in Western art, furniture, and architecture, especially in the 18th century.

    • ‘The look brought together Far Eastern inspiration and Western craftsmanship, creating the foundation for the style known as chinoiserie, which is still popular today.’
    • ‘I was charmed by the delicate chinoiserie of the animation style, especially the title credits.’
    • ‘It is stripped down chinoiserie, all wood and fretting, strictly rectilinear, lugubrious.’
    • ‘The Beauforts brought their boundless enthusiasm for chinoiserie to Badminton, and in so doing created two of the most remarkable rooms in England.’
    • ‘As the taste for chinoiserie flourished, textiles such as chintz, wallpapers, screens and cabinets freely incorporated Asian motifs both real and imagined.’
    • ‘A former editor-in-chief of Elle Decoration, Leece was commissioned by publisher Periplus Editions last September to examine the global appetite for chinoiserie.’
    • ‘The elaborate epergne, made by Thomas Pitts of London in 1761, bespeaks the chinoiserie influence on late rococo English decorative arts.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘A passion for Chinese motifs - chinoiserie - preceded and paved the way.’
    • ‘Since the vogue for chinoiserie included keeping exotic animals, the manufacture of porcelain animals is understandable.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘But the word singeries (French singe: ape or monkey) is usually restricted to a particular phase of chinoiserie during the French Régence period.’
    • ‘One of the most successful styles adopted by carvers of rococo overmantels was chinoiserie.’
    • ‘He developed an extensive decorative program, concentrating almost entirely on 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.’
    • ‘Snow, one of the features of the chinoiserie here, is frequently associated in Prynne's work with the limits of survival and habitation.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘A later Walter Moorcroft vase reached £780 and a 19th century potichomania glass vase and cover printed with chinoiserie sold well at £500.’
    • ‘The Parnassians contributed to the cultivation of this taste for chinoiserie.’
    • ‘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.’
    1. 1.1 Chinoiserie objects or decorations.
      ‘a piece of chinoiserie’
      ‘one room has red velvet and chinoiseries’
      • ‘In such images, Chinese workshops played on European taste so well that one could almost describe them as Chinese-executed chinoiseries.’
      • ‘La Maison's range of originals spans the 18th and 19th centuries, with gilded-cherub motifs, lacquered black chinoiserie and caned beds.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Gift-shop ceramic chinoiseries are mounted on some canvases.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘The interiors are all original chinoiseries and stained glass, oil paintings, Meissen porcelain, taffeta and silk.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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?’
      • ‘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.’


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