What images teach us about The Far West and Far East
Dodin ( 1734-1803, Porcelaine de Sèvres, 1761,detroit Institute of Art
Charles-Nicolas Dodin

Triangular potpourri vase (detail)


Soft-paste porcelain with enamel decoration and gilding

30.5 × 16.5 × 17.8 cm

Sèvres Porcelain Manufactory

Detroit Institute of Arts Museum

Dish with birds, famille verte. Qing Dynasty (1644–1911), mark and period of Kangxi (1662-1722), ca. 1700-1720. From China, Jiangxi, Jingdezhen. Musée Guimet Paris , détail
Unknown artist

Dish with birds (detail)

1713 (Qing dynasty, Kangxi peridod)

Hard-paste procelain with famille verte enamel decoration

25.5 cm

From China, Jiangxi, Jingdezhen

Musée national des arts asiatiques-Guimet, Paris

The Château de Versailles, built by the French Sun King, Louis XIV, is usually seen as the ultimate representation of classical French art. However, French artists did not limit their source of inspiration solely to France and Europe. They were also fascinated by China, continuing the long history of political and artistic exchange between the Middle Kingdom and France. In pre-Revolutionary France, the label « made in China » was synonymous with the most exclusive luxury goods. Paintings, furniture, lacquer ware, porcelains, and fabrics from the period illustrate France’s taste for Chinese artistic productions. In the creation of classical French art, multiple roads lead to China, and Chinese aesthetics and influence are at the heart of French artistic creation, through imitation and adaptation. We will undertake a fascinating journey between France and the Orient, explaining how this deep relationship was established and uncovering its many art forms.