Wallpaper Panels of the Bay of Naples, from ‘Les Vues d?Italie’

Wallpaper Panels of the Bay of Naples, from ‘Les Vues d?Italie’

A wonderfully atmospheric survivor from the Age of Enlightenment. Now mounted on stretched linen, in a gilt frame, this scene from Les Vues d?Italie was printed in Paris between 1812 and 1825. In the promotional material printed at the time it was described:

?The landscape, representing several of the most notable sites and monuments in Italy, as well as scenes taken from the habits and customs of the peoples who today inhabit the various provinces of this lovely country, ought to arouse even greater interest, since all the views and costumes are taken from nature and the execution, as well as the style, of this composition is, in every way, worthy of representing memories of this classical land.?

These are the first five panels of one of the earliest series of French scenic wallpaper. Joseph Dufour and Company based this charming view of the Bay of Naples on Constant Bourgeois? engraving of the subject, but the figures in the foreground appear to be a pastiche borrowed from the painters Vernet and Casanova (the younger brother of the infamous Giacomo Casanova).

We love the marvelous play between the honest depiction of nature, with Mount Vesuvius erupting in the background, and the theatrical figures composed along the shore. The faded grisaille tonalities add to the pleasure, and seem to inspire an air of nostalgic reverie.

For further information see,?1stdibs.