Painting large landscape wallpapers for mansions, canal houses and country estates was particularly popular in the 18th century.It is remarkable that so few of these 'Rooms around' have been preserved. The knowledge about the manufacturing process has also largely been lost.
When we started painting wallpaper in 2013, we more became aware of the size and importance of this Dutch craft. It is fascinating to discover how the right effects transformed empty walls into illusionistic landscapes. Thousands of rooms must have had at least one 'room around'. However, this decorative interior art fell into decline after 1800 due to various causes. The dismantling of the rooms started from the middle of the 19th century. 18th-century art was found to be inferior to the Golden Age and the vulnerable wall hangings became less popular. The remaining wallpaper paintings that have been preserved in situ are very rare and hardly known by the general public.
The remaining sketches, travel reports and notes only give a limited picture of this craft and the used techniques. This creates a major gap in our knowledge and understanding of 17th and 18th century decorative painters and interior art. How did the wallpaper come about? How did an assignment go? What did a studio look like? Have templates or fixed elements been used? How did the work process proceed? Who determined the colors, subjects? To what extent did the wallpaper match the existing interior?
Many questions can no longer be answered, which is why we have further studied the techniques and the manufacturing process. By reading various books and dissertations, but also by visiting museums and (private) houses, we get a better insight. Also dioramas and (stage) set pieces can also help to compare the techniques and effects used.
We have now put many of these theoretical models into practice. light, depth, perspective, use of color and other effects of the past we us in our designs. The personal wishes of our clients and the architecture also play an important role in creating hand-painted wallpaper. A certain atmosphere can be created through optical illusions and use of color. A space can be manipulated by the right proportion of work. In short, we think there is still much to discover.