Chinoiserie in Venice: Artworks in the Age of Tiepolo

  • 陳 怡真

Student thesis: Doctoral Thesis


The Republic of Venice (697-1797) was an important place for the meeting of eastern and western art During the Rococo period Venice had a particular taste for complex Chinese-influenced art which came to be known by the French name of chinoiserie In the eighteenth century Giambattista Tiepolo (1696-1770) and Giandomenico Tiepolo (1727-1804) were the best-known artists in Venice They were commissioned to illustrate a series of Chinese themed frescos in the Villa Valmarana This thesis focuses on the origin and spreading of chinoiserie with a focus on the stylistic differences between Italy and the other European countries Special attention will be paid to the development of chinoiserie in Venice across a wide range of media and genres including the records and engravings of the missionaries aspects of operas and plays lacquerware porcelain and especially interior frescos Additionally this thesis explores the lives and works of Giambattista and Giandomenico playing close attention to their style themes and motifs The local reception of the “exoticism” of chinoiserie will also be examined determine how it impacted the imagination of the Venetian artists of that age Unlike the chinoiserie which often appeared on porcelain lacquerware and interior lacquer panels and wall papers in Europe artists like the Tiepolos created chinoiserie using traditional fresco painting methods to emphasize the value of artwork over the more standard crafts The Chinese room in the Villa Valmarana reveals a far-away place which differed from the majestic style filled with images from mythological and allegorical works that were normally favoured by the Tiepolos There are two main reasons for this: first the artists had to conform to the decoration trends of their time and second the artists could only know about China by means of secondary sources since it was too far away to visit As a result their chinoiserie artworks have little to do with actual China but instead reflect the artists’ fantasy of the eastern world and these images became part of the Venetian style of that era
Date of Award2021
Original languageEnglish
SupervisorYi-Fang Wu (Supervisor)

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