Patterns: Chinoiserie (Orientalism)

Pronunciation: ʃinwazʁi

Usage: referred to as “Chinese-like”, "Orientalism"

History: c. 17th Century Europe

Pattern type: Stylistic

It became quite clear to me that when I began to research Chinoiserie that I didn't know what I was getting jumping head-first into. You see, I thought that Chinoiserie was just a stylistic pattern that had birds, twigs, maybe some umbrellas, but as it turns out it's a whole effing fan-tabulious awe-striking double-taking styles. Holy effing crap, I don't know where to begin because Chinoiserie is complex and layered with geometric, stylistic, naturalistic, and linear styles that just simply can not be explained in words.

So, after I went a little crazy on Pintrest over anything Chinese-like, I can formulate this to say about Chinoiserie.

  • Stylistic - deeply rooted in the Western exploration of the Far East, Chinoiserie became a modern take in historic Europe
  • Geometric - traditional Chinese mill-work and moulding used and repeated, like a lattice-work of sorts
  • Naturalistic - Inspired by nature, the pattern pulls the random coincidences of nature with mottled or subtle backgrounds
  • Linear - the lines of Chinoiserie style are horizontal and vertical; however there are influences of curves, circles, medallions, and rosettes