"French industry has managed to render on paper not only all kinds of foliage, greenery, and landscape, but even seascapes and historical tableaux. The most brilliant colors, most delicate shades, most delightful and varied drawing, plus artistic skill and taste and the perfect imitation of nature, can now all be found in this kind of fabrication. ...
"French industry has managed to render on paper not only all kinds of foliage, greenery, and landscape, but even seascapes and historical tableaux. The most brilliant colors, most delicate shades, most delightful and varied drawing, plus artistic skill and taste and the perfect imitation of nature, can now all be found in this kind of fabrication...The genius of the manufacturer who invented these wall hangings deserves both praise and encouragement, given the taste and perfection with which they are executed."--S? bastien Le Normand, 1822 Unrolled over the whole wall surface of a room, scenic wallpapers are an exclusively French creation which flourished through the first half of the nineteenth century. Offering an affordable alternative to tapestries or to the hand-painted fresco, these panoramic landscapes brought a romantic, dreamlike world into the living spaces of the bourgeoisie, breaking down the traditional barriers between interior and exterior, reality and utopia. Among the subjects depicted are well-known Parisian monuments and famous sites together with mythological or romantic themes, inspired by the paintings and engravings most fashionable at the time. Manufacturers such as Zuber, Dufour, and Delicourt exported these wallpapers to the United States and all over Europe, where they decorated a wide variety of dwellings, from a modest boarding house (described by Balzac) to the Goncourts' dining room, from the salons of Swedish castles to princely residences in Madrid and Lisbon. This authoritative work on the subject was first published in 1990 on the occasion of an exhibition at the Mus? e des Arts d? coratifs in Paris, creating newinterest from the general public and design professionals alike. Now, fully updated and available for the first time in English, this magnificent volume offers a comprehensive, richly illustrated account for all those interested in this unique art. The book is completed by an exhaustive, illustrated inventory of all scenic wallpapers identified to date.
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