If you want a new look for your space but don’t want just paint, refer to the wallpaper’s decorative beauty. Wallpaper has been around for centuries, so let’s explore about its more interesting facts and history.
Utawaga Hiroshige was one of the last great artists of the Japanese art genre “ukiyo-e,” or woodblock art. Hiroshige is renowned for his landscape paintings, including his depiction of the Odawara-juku in the 1830s. It is one of Hiroshige’s series of woodcut prints titled The Fifty-Three Stations of the Tokaido.
The innovation of the wallpaper came from France during the 1600s, which leads to the wider acceptance to the wallpaper. The designs of the wallpaper depicted the kind of classes of people who used them. The poorer classes used wallpaper with simple designs consisting of repeated geometric patterns created from a single wood block. The wealthy people, on the other hand, used wallpapers with complicated designs which include flowers, shields and vases, printed from several blocks.
Despite that, you cannot underestimate its role in the overall decorative scheme. The choice of the wallpaper will reflect the occupant’s mood, tastes, and the style of the room, or its function. The color and the design of the wallpaper will also be a big factor on how you choose your furnishings and decorations.
The Chinese, since they were the first to invent paper, eventually passed their skills to the Arabs during the 8th century. The Arabs, in turn, made papermaking widespread throughout the Middle East. By the 10th century, the Arabs began using wood and bamboo, creating finer sheets of paper. By then, papers produced were of a finer quality.
During the early years of the 20th century, wallpapers were very popular until the Modernist period which leaned more on white walls. But the wallpapers were still favored by many people and technological advancements led to the more durable wallpapers that were becoming easy to apply and removed.
The Chinese may have already begun hanging decorated rice papers, but the creation and the development of the real wallpaper traces back to 16th century Europe. They found paper the inexpensive alternative to the decorative wool and silk tapestries that took long to create and were costly as well.
The wallpaper, once regarded as a luxurious and elegant item, suddenly became ordinary by the 19th century. Therefore, it is important to tell apart which of the designs were considered “chaste” and the others that were “gaudy” or cheap.
Post-war wallpaper designs had become more contemporary and featured abstract or geometric patterns.
One of the innovations from the 16th century is the introduction of the flock paper. Flock refers to the small wool trimmings left over from the cloth manufacturing. The process of making flock wallpaper involves painting the background color on paper (or cloth, such as a canvas), stenciling a design onto it using an adhesive, and scattering the flock over the adhesive, creating a smooth, velvety appearance.
Artichokes are a very popular theme in wallpaper art and it has never gone out of style even in the 21st century.
This is a beautiful detail from a wallpaper produced during the 17th century. But do you know that wallpaper isn’t a purely Western invention? The Chinese were the ones who created the first wallpapers.
This wallpaper has the rococo design, an elaborate design which is also present in painting, sculpture, decoration, and interior design during the 18th century.
As the Chinese were the ones to invent paper, they eventually learned to create art on it. The first wallpapers they produced usually consist of the subjects like birds, flowers, trees, and landscapes, formed in rectangular sheets.