• Katie Stern

Chinoiserie: Word of the day

Updated: May 25, 2021

I'm curious about wallpaper. It's becoming the rage again, and there's likely a lot I don't know. So I set out to find out more.


A few articles brought me to this word: Chinoiserie—a style influenced by the Chinese. Chinese artists have long practiced an aesthetic identified with this term, an aesthetic is revered even today. While the aesthetic dates back 1,000 years, it wasn't until the 17th century that Europeans learned about and become enamored by this style and used it in many forms. One such form was wallpaper.


To look at images of hand-crafted wallpaper in the Chinoiserie style is uncanny. I can't imagine seeing it in person. These wallpapers aren't printed, they're hand-painted. One room might contain a single non-repeated pattern hand-painted from floor to ceiling, such as the one in this image of the Museo di Arti Decorative Accorsi Ometto, Torino, Italy.




I found the website of a wallpaper artist, David Qian. Working in traditional methods, this artis creates wallpaper with exceptional handiwork. View his works here:

http://www.david-qian.com/


de Gournay is another producer of Chinoiserie hand-painted wallpapers, and I encourage you to take a look. Artists employed at De Gournay exemplify being experts in their field. Their knowledge, talent, and dedication to craft are exemplary. Watch an artisan work:

https://degournay.com/philosophy


Explore these elegant and graceful wallpaper designs:

https://degournay.com/wallpapers


Here's another example. Did I read this correctly? Is there embroidery on this wallpaper as well as painting?

https://www.apartmenttherapy.com/de-gournay-silk-tree-wallpaper-by-jonathan-rachman-245985



Chinoiserie—something new to me, even though it's hundreds of years old. I'm glad to know about it.


Happy Designing!


Photo credit: Ambra75, CC BY-SA 4.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0>, via Wikimedia Commons




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