51 x 64 cm 60 x 74 cm with frame
25 in 23 1/2 x 29 in with the frame
This pair of European varnished panels depicting on one a Chinese scene on an elephant accompanied by trumpet and cymbal players and on the other a Chinese lute player in a landscape.
The taste for other places was born from the discovery of the Americas, the voyages of Marco Polo and the Silk Road.
This phenomenon grew in the 17th century and invaded literature, philosophy and the arts.
Artists practised using characters with Asian features in their compositions. chinoiserie, as it is called, appealed to the most unbridled fantasy.
As early as the 17th century, publications were devoted to the technique of a varnish capable of equalling Chinese lacquer. It was in the 18th century that Jean-Félix Watin, in his work on European varnish, boasted that he had the most beautiful varnishes in Paris.
The decorations are either directly inspired by lacquer panels or by French engravings with Chinese subjects.