The Chinese Fair
On View In:

Artist:   François Boucher
Jean-Joseph Dumons
Ad. Camousse at the Royal Beauvais Manufactory under Jean-Baptis  
Title:   The Chinese Fair  
Date:   designed 1742 (woven 1743-1745)  
Medium:   Wool, silk; tapestry weave  
Dimensions:   143 x 218 1/4 in. (363.22 x 554.36 cm) (irregular)  
Credit Line:   The William Hood Dunwoody Fund  
Location:   Gallery Not on view  

As trade expanded to China in the 17th and 18th centuries, Europeans became intrigued with the exoticism of the Far East. In time, artists created decorative objects inspired by Chinese forms and motifs. This tapestry, one of a six-part series designed by the French painter François Boucher, captures the bustle of a European marketplace thinly disguised as a Chinese fair. Pagoda roofs, rickshaws, and Asian costumes, along with elephants and camels, help complete this illusion.

In the 18th century, it was fashionable to install tapestries permanently on the walls and to decorate the rooms accordingly. This tapestry was originally hung in a Paris salon surrounded by imported Chinese cabinets, chinoiserie (Chinese-inspired) screens, and crimson upholstery and curtains.

From the second Chinese Series.

Name:   Boucher, François  
Role:   Designer  
Nationality:   French  
Life Dates:   French, 1703 - 1770  
Name:   Dumons, Jean-Joseph  
Role:   Cartoonist  
Nationality:   French  
Life Dates:   French, 1687 – 1779  
Name:   Ad. Camousse at the Royal Beauvais Manufactory under Jean-Baptis  
Role:   Weaver  
Nationality:   French  

Object Description  
Classification:   Textiles  
Physical Description:   from the second Chinese Series (Tenture Chinoise), a total of six pieces; warp undyed wool, 8-9 ends per cm., weft dyed wool and silk, 20-44 ends per cm.  
Creation Place:   Europe, France, , , Beauvais  
Accession #:   45.14  
Owner:   The Minneapolis Institute of Arts