During the 17th and 18th centuries, foreign material culture was introduced into France and Switzerland and integrated into European interiors and decorative arts. Scholars have emphasized this era’s emerging taste for the exotic in order to explain the unprecedented craze for lacquer, porcelain, and textiles that imitated non-Western techniques and iconography. Yet what constituted the exotic during the age of Enlightenment? How was the place of foreign material culture negotiated? And how did it impact European identities?
Exotic Switzerland? moves from questions about the nature of exoticism to explore exoticism in practice. The physical relocation of material fragments in European interiors is the core of this volume. Finally, the contributors also explore the rise of disciplines such as anthropology and ethnology through collection, publication, and print culture.