Chinoiserie, a recurring theme in European artistic styles since the seventeenth century, is a mixture of Eastern and Western styles characterized by in the use of fanciful imagery of an imaginary China, by asymmetry in format and whimsical contrasts of scale, and by the attempts to imitate Chinese porcelain and the use of lacquer-like materials and decoration.
This Chinese-inspired exoticism became particularly trendy in the Rococo period, is epitomized in the with Sicilian Chinoiserie: the Palazzina (or Casina- literally small palace or house) Cinese in Palermo. This unique construction, one of the largest Oriental style residences built in Europe during that period, consists of three floors, each decorated with Chinese patterns, writing, or frescoes of pastoral Chinese life. Sumptuous tapestries and fabrics printed with exotic birds and motifs decorate the interior of the palace, as do the geometric and figurative painted wall panels. Although the focus was Chinese, there are Italian elements as well. One room is done entirely in the style of Pompeii, painted in the deep red identified with the destroyed city, as well as Turkish, Persian and Indian iconography.