26/9/23 - Art market - Paris - Wallpaper (in French "papier peint") is not painted. Of course, it was in its early days, when it was created by the Chinese and adorned the walls of the sumptuous interiors described by Marco Polo. It was also painted when China exported its refined and expensive production to the West (ill. 1). But the Europeans, as they had done with porcelain and even with lacquerwares, sought to compete with this oriental know-how and developed printed papers.
- 1. Chinese wallpaper
Canton school, China, 18th century
Hand-painted - 200 x 132 cm
Carolle Thibaut-Pomerantz/Galerie Léage
- See the image in its page
Guillaume Léage is devoting an exhibition to this art of interior decoration. In his gallery, he welcomes specialist Carolle Thibaut-Pomerantz, who has chosen an anthology of papers from the 18th to the 20th centuries. Although industrialisation made this type of decoration affordable, the works on display are a reminder that production was initially long and painstaking, and that print runs were limited. The tour takes visitors from small, repetitive dominos to vast panoramic papers, from the royal Réveillon factory to the Bon Marché workshop. Each work is paired with a piece of furniture from the gallery. The idea is not to bring together papers and furniture from the same period, but to suggest more freely the iconographic resonances. For example, the Garden of Armida designed by Édouard Müller for Jules Desfossé’s manufacture and presented at the Paris Universal Exhibition in 1855, was one of the first wallpaper sets to reproduce flowers so realistically, as they sensually abound at the foot of a statue inspired by James Pradier’s Flora . The central part of this mural winter garden is displayed next to a pair of Louis XVI jardinières attributed to Claude-Charles Saunier (ill. 2).