French Wallpaper – An Elegant Relic For Your Walls and Ceilings

For many people, wallpaper is an antiquated relic of the past that was torn down as soon as monochrome paint became fashionable in the 18th century. However, wallpaper is now making a comeback thanks to the chic home design magazines that feature them and the ease with which they can be applied to walls and ceilings. This makes it possible to achieve a look that would have been impossible 20 years ago.

papier peint francais are famous for their elegance and refinement. Their designs evoke the atmosphere of French chateaux and their woodwork or frescoes. They can also be inspired by the decoration of nineteenth-century bourgeois houses or chinoiseries with their sophisticated arabesques. They may depict the sky with cherubs, in the style of baroque painters or, more often, peaceful and tormented landscapes with geacute figures, arabesques, or mythological creations that mingle to create a refined harmony.

While the first versions of wallpaper that prefigured modern products appeared in the 17th century, the wallpaper industry truly took off in the early 18th century. At that time there was a long tradition of domino paper makers (cardmakers, stationery merchants and wood engravers) and of artisan shopkeepers that offered marbled or coloured papers for use as lining papers or book endpapers and for decoration in wood panelling and plaster mouldings. The father of modern wallpaper, Jean Papillon, belonged to one of these dynasties. He was the author of a Traite historique et pratique de la gravure sur bois (1766) and an important contributor to the Encyclopedie. He was also a dominanto who owned a workshop in the rue Saint-Jacques and produced decorative lining paper for Madame de Pompadour’s rooms at Versailles. Papillon’s invention was the technique of printing contiguous designs in repeating rows on separate sheets of paper joined together to form rolls called papiers de tapisserie.

These scenic wallpapers were patterned with the likes of birds, animals and flowers and often had a faux relief effect. Several manufacturers produced papiers de tapisserie in the 19th century, including Joseph Dufour and Zuber et Cie. Zuber’s renowned panoramic wallpapers, such as the set of Vues d’Amerique du Nord (1804), L’Hindoustan and Eldorado are still printed today using original antique blocks in a factory that has been designated a Historical Monument in France.

Today, we can buy self-adhesive french wallpapers and they are much easier to apply. They do not require the use of a table and can be glued to a clean wall. They are also allergy-friendly as they do not absorb moisture, mites or dust. They can be used for a single room or even an entire house and they will remain in place for a very long time. They are ideal for those who want to give their interiors a chic and refined atmosphere. They can be combined with a wooden floor or with faux wood panels in imitation of solid beams and other rustic elements. They can also be matched with linen and home textiles such as curtains, cushions and carpeting.

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