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XVIIIth Wallpaper

Arabesques, wallpapers, grisaille, 18th century wall decoration has become one of the most emblematic of French history. You will find below the decorations in our catalog corresponding to this decorative tradition. In particular the grotesques adorning Marie Antoinette's Boudoir.


The history of wallpaper: the first dominated papers

In reality, the first wallpapers have nothing to do with the history of wall decoration since they are related to that of the book. They are "dominoté papers": this kind of stationery was used to decorate books. The origin of this word comes from the Italian "domino" which means "cap, envelope, mask". And so the craftsmen working with this technique are called domino makers: their task is mainly to decorate the books with small ornaments, usually with floral or geometric patterns. It is also for this reason that they were not considered as artists in their own right (they belonged to the guild of cartiers). It is also important to know that in order to protect publishers and printers, the dominoes were not allowed to use type. But then, what does this have to do with the history of wallpapers? Quite simply that these decorations were conceived on the principle of "the connection": assembled the ones and the others, the dominotés papers formed a continuous and repetitive creation. It is therefore understandable why these decorations are at the origin of the first wallpapers in the eighteenth century! The dominotés papers, which then became wallpapers, are called "hanging papers" or "tapestry papers". Around 1750, the first antique wallpapers appeared in England and a decade later Jean-Baptiste Réveillon opened the first wallpaper factory in Paris. The 18th century panoramic wallpaper was born! This is why at Papiers de Paris, we have at heart to revive this part of our decorative and artistic heritage by reissuing the mythical models of this historic factory or those from other designers who have marked the history of wallpaper. Moreover, we put our know-how at your disposal by creating wallpapers of 18th century style: it is in a way contemporary reinterpretations of these rocaille and neoclassical decorations.

Chinoiseries and Indiennes, wallpapers from the iconic 18th century

Wallpaper in the 18th century comes in several styles; the first of them, which had a real vogue throughout the century and even beyond, is undoubtedly the one that draws its inspiration from Eastern culture. This type of panoramic wallpaper in the 18th century is called "chinoiseries"; make no mistake about it: it represents motifs from China, Japan, Korea and even India, and this in a reinterpretation that is at least picturesque and fantasized. Similarly, theseantique wallpaper or wall decorations could be purely ornamental or, on the contrary, depict historiated scenes particularly rich in detail. Papiers de Paris could not therefore omit this vein, which is why our catalog offers several wallpapers of this type: reissues or creations of our French company, they bring these decorations of past centuries up to date. Chinese Birds is one of these reinterpretations of the characteristic decorations of the Age of Enlightenment since it is a reproduction of an illustration that appeared in the Book of Chinese Drawings by Jean-Antoine Fraisse. If you're looking for an 18th century panoramic wallpaper inspired by typical Chinese washes, then you'll definitely prefer our Chinese Mountains, created from a work painted on silk and titled "Travels in the South" by Hui Wang's Emperor Kangxi. Our advice: take the time to browse our catalog to discover all the 18th century decorations that our House of Excellence is able to provide.

The 18th century panoramic wallpapers after Vernet

How to evoke this century without talking about the great canvases of the masters of historical painting and historicized landscapes? The artists of this period pushed the possibilities of oil painting to their limits to offer our eyes breathtaking perspectives. These works, often of very large format, lend themselves particularly well to the creation of a panoramic wallpaper of 18th century style. This is why Papiers de Paris wished to offer its customers decorations from the paintings of Claude Joseph Vernet (the father), known for his seascapes and particularly for his series representing the ports of France depicted in the style of Lorrain, and Carle Vernet (the son). Thus, for your 18th century panoramic wallpaper, you can choose The Port of Marseille (this marine depicts barks and sailing boats in front of the port of Marseille) or Marine at Sunset. Of course, our catalog includes many other 18th century wallpapers, so take the time to browse through it to find the decor that suits you best. Moreover, thanks to our partnership with the RMN, you will be able to create your own model from a work preserved in a national museum: Louis Michel Van Loo, François Boucher, Chardin, Antoine Watteau, Jean-Baptiste Greuze, Élisabeth Vigée-Lebrun, Charles-Joseph Natoire, Jean-Baptiste Oudry but also English painters such as Joshua Reynolds... Everything is allowed! Looking for inspiration? Don't hesitate to visit some of the most beautiful French museums that contain spectacular collections of 18th century art. At Papiers de Paris, we particularly invite you to discover the Louvre and the Jacquemart André Museum.

Grotesques and arabesques: our ornamental 18th century style wallpapers

To finish this overview of 18th century wallpaper, it is appropriate to talk about a rather ornamental style inspired by antiquity: the grotesques. The origin and etymology of this word can be explained by the discovery in Rome and its surroundings, towards the end of the fifteenth century, of painted decorations on the walls of Roman houses buried and rediscovered buried, and which therefore looked like caves. It is thus by following this fashion that Queen Marie-Antoinette decorated her boudoir and it is true that this production mixing flowers and small decorative ornaments fits perfectly with the woodwork of the interiors of this time. Do you like this decor? Papiers de Paris offers you the opportunity to order these decorative panels individually or in batches to create a complete set. It's also possible to combine these wallpapers with one of our Ornement to make your own unique composition. You want to know more about it ? Contact us!