Sunday, March 7, 2010

Chinoiserie Bridges with Vases

A follower asked whether the vases on the bridge in yesterday's post on Caspari were based on actual Chinese bridges. I believe that the answer is that vases and urns were used on Chinoiserie bridges-Europe's interpretation of a fanciful imaginary China. The first picture above is the Chinese Bridge at Laxenburg from Dams and Zega's book Chinoiseries. This bridge, with its elongated pagoda, poles with glass pendants, bells, urns, and bold ornamentation, included a dragon boat moored on an artificial lake to complete this Hapsburg vision of Cathay.

Just below is the Large Chinese Bridge at Chinese Village, Catherine the Great's attempt to follow the eighteenth century fashion for Chinoiserie. The bridge is noted for its pink granite vases and imitation coral branches.


This is the Oxford Bridge at Stowe House, a National Trust property in Stowe, Buckinghamshire, England. The Oxford Bridge, built in 1761, has three arches, a solid parapet, and eight decorative urns.



6 comments:

Theresa Cheek said...

Thanks for the history lesson! Love learning about the background of art.

Kitty said...

I love the way Chinoiserie scenes seem to float in the sky. I guess that's the point, to evoke the elusive Shangri-la. What a cool post! xo kitty

nttreasurehunt said...

What a nice way to answer my question. Yes as you say it is probably a mixture of European architectural urns + Chinese porcelain vases + unbridled fantasy.

As regards Stowe, there is a wonderful chinoiserie pavilion there, I am preparing a post on it.

Style Redux 2 said...

Theresa-A fascinating discussion of a napkin design!

Style Redux 2 said...

Kitty-Thanks-hope all is well with you.

Style Redux 2 said...

Emile-I'm looking forward to your post.