Definition of chinoiserie
: a style in art (as in decoration) reflecting Chinese qualities or motifs; also : an object or decoration in this style
chinoiserie was our Word of the Day on 01/15/2014. Hear the podcast!
Did You Know?
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. Chinoiserie itself was popular throughout the 17th and 18th centuries and enjoyed a brief revival in the 1930s. And people still enjoy it today.
Origin and Etymology of chinoiserie
French, from chinois Chinese, from Chine China
First Known Use: 1883
Seen and Heard
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