paris

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Steinberg’s Opera
One of several wallpaper designs by Saul Steinberg, this paper shows elevations of the Palais Garnier in Paris. Illustrated in signature Steinberg style, the design is fun and whimsical while drawing attention to some of the building’s notable architectural components. The two different elevations are drawn as caricatures which highlight the grandiosity and opulence of...
1907-17-134
Easy Come, Easy Go
This gambling token, or jeton, features the double-faced god Janus. With one eye looking to the past and the other to the future, the ancient Roman deity oversaw change — including change in luck and fortune. This is precisely what a nineteenth-century gambler might have hoped for as he cast the silver piece onto a...
Presentation drawing for the Comte de Rambuteau: At the fountain base, at the center of the main basin, are six nude figures personifying the Atlantic, the Mediterranean, and four symbols of maritime fishing industries; these figures sit on prows of ships. Above them (and between the basin tier and the crowning cap) are four genii, between each of which is a dolphin (below) and a swan (above) sending jets of water into the basin tier. At the top of the fountain is a mushroom-shaped cap from which water spills to a basin tier, which in turn spills a profusion of water to the larger main basin at ground level. At the perifery of the fountain are nereid figures, each holding a fish which spouts a jet backwards towards the center of the fountain.
Place de la Concorde
This splendid presentation drawing was prepared for the prestigious civic commission to redesign the Place de la Concorde, one of the great public squares of Paris. When the viceroy of Egypt, Muḥammad ʿAlī, offered France an obelisk from the reign of Ramses II as a gift in 1831, the German-born designer Jakob Ignaz Hittorff was...
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An Art Nouveau Partnership in the Belle Époque
The Belle Époque was an explosion of optimism and cultural innovation and artistic endeavours. The Belle Époque, lasting from the 1870s up to WWI, was at its height in Paris during the 1890s and 1900s. It was a great time for art and theatre, and they converged to great success at the Theatre de la...
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The Charming Bouquinistes of Paris
This lithograph, by artist Paul Jeffay (1898-1957) depicts the Left Bank of Paris, France, on what appears to be the Quai de la Tournelle. The main focus of the piece is on the bouquinistes, green boxes that line the Seine in the center of Paris, out of which booksellers sell used and antiquarian books. In...
42598_8a8fce829dc8b451_b[1]
Would You Like a Drink with the Vacation?
After the dust had settled from WWII, people were ready to get back to (or experience for the first time) the good life that had been interrupted by decades of war and depression. These desires manifested quite literally on wallpapers, and during the 1950s there was a trend for designs depicting everything from household appliances...
44278_d33b4112b7bdfceb_b[1]
The Horse Fair
Framed rectangular vignettes are vertically stacked like ashlar blocks on this French wallpaper ca. 1855-75. The frames are printed in yellow and brown and depict bead-and-reel molding. Two square scenes in the center of the page show men both leading horses to water and making them drink, but it’s the identical vignettes that span the...
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The Vendôme Column that Fits in your Living Room
Faux statues and architectural elements were standard production for French wallpaper manufacturers of the mid to late nineteenth century. In this ornamental paper panel commemorating a monument that commemorates a man, designers Dufour et Leroy have created a remarkably thorough copy of the Column of the Grande Armeé at the Place Vendôme in Paris. Work...
49006_7c7671cb84f2c783_b
A French Renaissance Love Affair
Before architecture firm Warren & Wetmore erected Gilded Age estate houses on Long Island, Newport country clubs, Park Avenue apartment blocks and the Beaux-Arts style Grand Central Station[1], Whitney Warren (1864-1943) spent ten formative years in Paris – from 1884 to 1894. Trained by historicists Honoré Daumet and Charles Girault at L’École des Beaux-Arts,[2] the...