At the end of the 18th century a new type of wallpaper was adorned in the wealthy homes in France. They were introduced during the World Exhibition in Paris in 1806 and produced until 1860 and were called panoramic wallpaper and intended to cover the walls of a room. Unlike regular wallpaper that has a repeated pattern, depicted panoramic wallpaper whole landscape scenes that gives the impression of being one big painting. Magnificent views from famous cities and countries, parklands, and mythological and historical scenes were popular subjects. The intention was to give a feeling of space where the viewer was caught up in the landscape.
Artist Jean Julien Deltil
The panorama wallpaper La bataille d’Heliopolis (RKM 86–2011) was made around 1818 by the firm of ‘Charles R. Velay et de la rue Lenoir’ in Paris. The artist who painted the model for the wallpaper was Jean Julien Deltil (1791–1853). It depicts the French army that defeated the Turks under General Klebers management on the plains of Heliopolis in Egypt in 1800. The whole scene is made up of 30 strips that are 53 cm wide, here 9 stripes from the museum’s collection are mounted. Despite the large format is the model very carefully designed and every detail is accurately depicted such as the soldiers’ uniforms and the officers’ insignia.
The production of these wallpapers were expensive and time consuming and performed with great skill. Each wallpaper was a work of art of the highest quality. Despite its large area with lots of characters and varied landscapes are they well balanced in composition and color range.
Read more about the Wallpaper on the online-collection.