Wallpaper - history of patterns

Product no.: Livre 010
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Who better than Bernard Jacqué, honorary curator of the Rixheim Museum of Wallpaper, could share with us his erudite passion? The purpose of this book is twofold: to understand by whom and how were drawn the wallpapers for more than two centuries, as well as to present the evolution the main reasons for the origins at the beginning of the twentieth century, period of rupture in this area.

From the beginning of its history, the wallpaper is an industrial product made in factories that could reach 500 workers at the end of the eighteenth century. Each year, dozens or hundreds of new designs are offered to customers. The staff usually consists of an artistic director, often a distinguished artist, his direct collaborators, draughtsmen and painters, then the crowd of small hands.

The workshops can be integrated into the factory or independent. The designer is a technician, not an artist. He certainly has talent, but must own his business first and foremost. He must master the "flat key" and the "setting to report" to be able to repeat the pattern throughout the roll without visible connection. He must know how to achieve an attractive decor while using only a small number of colors.

The study of ornaments constitutes the major part of the book. The motifs are often those used by furniture or textile artisans: the toile de Jouy and the silk fabrics of Lyon are a source of choice; the wallpapers thus make it possible to imitate inexpensively expensive textiles such as damask, silks, velvet and dimples. Architectural ornament and arabesque, much used at the beginning of the wallpaper, were gradually replaced by ancestral motifs before being rejected in the twentieth century. All periods have been faithful to plant ornaments in forms always renewed: the flower can be stylized or otherwise treated naturally according to the fashion of an era.

The illustration is particularly abundant. The choice of motifs presented is based exclusively on the collections of the Museum of Rixheim Wallpaper, in a period that goes from the last decades of the eighteenth century until the 1900s, all accompanied by precise notes.

Languages:  French and English
Number of pages: 216
Year published: 2010


History of wallpaper patterns in the 18th and 19th centuries
18th century flower motifs
19th century flower motifs
18th century textile inspired motifs
19th century textile inspired motifs
Ornamental motifs of the 18th century: the arabesque
Ornamental motifs of the nineteenth century

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