Author: Christiane Hertel
Publication Type: Monograph
Abstract: Chinoiserie—the use of motifs, materials, and techniques considered “Chinese” in ceramics, furniture, interior design, and landscape architecture—has often been associated with courtly decadence and shallow escapism. "Siting China in Germany" challenges conventional assumptions about this art form by developing a complex perspective on collections, gardens, and literature in the long eighteenth century. From the porcelain palaces at Dresden and Rastatt and the gardens of Wilhelmsthal and Wilhelmshöhe in Kassel to the literary and artistic translation practices in Dresden and Thomas Mann's historical novel "Lotte in Weimar," this book interprets the extensive history of chinoiserie within but also beyond court culture. In particular, it focuses on how manifestations of chinoiserie in Germany oscillated between the imagination, judgment, and critique of cultural and historical difference as well as identity.