Musée des Arts Décoratifs, Paris
February 13–June 29, 2014
107 Rue de Rivoli, 75001 Paris
+33 1 44 55 57 50

This exhibition reveals for the first time the exceptional richness and diversity of the Chinese art collections stored in the Musée des Arts Décoratifs. The pieces on display highlight the exquisite skills of Chinese craftsmen and take us into the captivating, intriguing universe that revitalised the French ornamental vocabulary, from the first World Fairs until very recent times.

The exhibition begins by paying tribute to collectors and legators such as Jules Maciet, Raymond Koechlin, Jean Schlumberger, Raoul Duseigneur and Alexandrine Grandjean, and also David David-Weill and Baroness Salomon de Rothschild. By donating works to the
musée des Arts décoratifs, they were demonstrating their will to preserve, highlight and promote a new aesthetic vocabulary and the secrets of techniques such as lacquer and porcelain. What were considered strange and cryptic representations in the eyes of Westeners, such as dragons and “Fô” dogs, aroused and triggered their imagination.

Except for the pieces dating from the first royal and imperial dynasties, the works on display date from the Song (960-1279) and Yuan (1279-1368) periods and, for the most part, the
last two imperial dynasties, the Ming (1368-1644) and Qing (1644-1912). The masterpieces dating from the most recent times were among those most prized by 19th and early 20th century collectors and thus play a major role in this exhibition.