This framed landscape paper dates to the mid-19th Century. The production of this design involves a number of different techniques. The background is combed or dragged in a wood grain pattern resembling oak; the landscape scene is hand painted, and the oval picture frame is woodblock-printed. Papers with a printed frieze, or ornament, such as this, that would repeat horizontally but not vertically were usually printed in eight to twelve foot lengths, which allowed some flexibility to accommodate different ceiling heights. These would be installed with multiple panels in a room, with the frames installed about eye level, the same as a real framed painting, and these landscape panels would alternate with plain wood-grained panels. They would be spread out around the room and would negate the need to hang additional artwork. The Cooper-Hewitt has a set of 4 of these medallions that are identical except that each frame contains a different hand painted scene. Three of the landscapes contain images of birds while the fourth contains a family of deer.
Wallpaper ornament. France, 1850-60. Combed, block-printed and hand painted on paper. Gift of Eleanor and Sarah Hewitt.