Helen M. Danforth Acquisition Fund
As trade with East Asia increased in the late 1600s, European artists adapted Asian motifs and forms in a style known as chinoiserie. This semicircular French design depicting an imagined Asian court would have been pleated and attached to ribs to make folding fans, a Japanese form.
The drawing is a celebratory scene shows the procession of a female figure in a palanquin, a vehicle carried by hand, accompanied by musicians and riders on horseback. The artist made notes about court protocol on other fan designs, suggesting that they could refer to a specific event. This may have been a visit to Versailles in 1686 by the ambassadors of Siam (now Thailand).