A gorgeously illustrated survey of chinoiserie from the 18th century to today
Chinoiserie is a term for Western art and design inspired by a largely invented vision of China. Marco Polo’s sensational account of his visit to the exotic East in the 13th century sparked a fascination with China that reached a fever pitch in the 18th century and continues to this day.
Art historian and artist Aldous Bertram has long been captivated by chinoiserie. He organizes Dragons & Pagodas by theme, including porcelain, color and pattern, flora, fauna, people, architecture and tropical exoticism. Each chapter is bursting with images of everything from grand European summer palaces and whimsical pagoda follies to charming details of screens, porcelain figurines and ornate plasterwork, from modern rooms swathed in floral wallpaper to paintings, tapestries and palm-topped columns. Complete with Bertram’s own chinoiserie–inspired watercolors and collages, Dragons & Pagodas is an irresistible confection and an example of chinoiserie in its own right.