Wallpaper

ca. 1850-1860 (made)
Image of Gallery in South Kensington
On display at V&A South Kensington
Prints & Drawings Study Room, room 405M
Artist/Maker
Place Of Origin

By the mid-19th century French wallpapers had reached an unprecedented level of technical expertise. As in Britain, naturalistic floral designs and designs with trompe l'oeil (‘trick of the eye’, an illusion) architectural features were very popular. However, this was exactly the kind of wallpaper pattern that dominated the displays of wallpaper manufacture at the Great Exhibition held in London in 1851. Such wallpapers appalled the design critics, who argued instead that they should be composed of flat and unassertive patterns.


object details
Categories
Object Type
Parts
This object consists of 2 parts.
(Some alternative part names are also shown below)
  • Wallpaper
  • Print
  • Wallpaper
  • Print
Materials and Techniques
Colour print from woodblocks, on paper
Brief Description
Two portions of wallpaper with a naturalistic floral stripe against a blue ground, framed by a rococo pilaster motif, intended for use together to show the complete repeat; Colour print from woodblocks, on paper; Anonymous; France; ca. 1850-60.
Physical Description
Two portions of wallpaper with a naturalistic floral stripe against a blue ground, framed by a rococo pilaster motif, intended for use together to show the complete repeat; Design features a bunches of roses, dahlias and hollyhocks and sprays of convolvulus, on a blue ground, with borders simulating moulding; Colour print from woodblocks, on paper.
Dimensions
  • Each length: 269.3cm
  • Width: 50.8cm
Style
Credit line
Given by the Curator of the City Museum, Gloucester
Object history
Given by the Curator of the City Museum, Gloucester.

These unused specimens of wallpaper were discovered at Hardwicke, near Gloucester.
Production
These unused specimens of wallpaper were discovered at Hardwicke, near Gloucester.
Subjects depicted
Summary
By the mid-19th century French wallpapers had reached an unprecedented level of technical expertise. As in Britain, naturalistic floral designs and designs with trompe l'oeil (‘trick of the eye’, an illusion) architectural features were very popular. However, this was exactly the kind of wallpaper pattern that dominated the displays of wallpaper manufacture at the Great Exhibition held in London in 1851. Such wallpapers appalled the design critics, who argued instead that they should be composed of flat and unassertive patterns.
Bibliographic Reference
Oman, Charles C., and Hamilton, Jean. Wallpapers: a history and illustrated catalogue of the collection of the Victoria and Albert Museum. London: Sotheby Publications, in association with the Victoria and Albert Museum, 1982.
Collection
Accession Number
E.771-1955

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record createdMarch 14, 2003
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