VIDEO Rare panoramic sepia wallpaper composed of three paintings depicting the story of Psyche.
They are based on Jean de La Fontaine’s novel "The Loves of Cupid and Psyche" (1669). This panoramic decoration was designed in 1815 by Louis Laffite (1770-1828) et Merry-Joseph Blondel (1781-1853) for Joseph Dufour factoy. Laffite et Blondel were themselves influenced by the famous neoclassical painters François Gérard (1770-1837) and Pierre-Paul Prud’hon (1758-1823); this explains the style of the panels, featuring classical-style furniture modeled on designs by Georges Jacob. The scenes are disposed as follow :
- N° 3 et 4 : "Psyche abducted by zephyrs" (Dim: 195x116 cm)
- N° 13 et 14 : "Psyche discovers Cupid asleep" (Dim: 195x116 cm)
- N° 18-20 : "Psyche offering Venus a goblet of water from the fountain of youth" (Dim: 195x170 cm).
The three paintings are titles and numbered. The wallpaper is in good general condition, with some traces of humidity, and tearing. Wallpaper (which was less expensive than painted wood paneling) became extraordinarily fashionable in upper-middle-class homes in the early 19th century. A 12 paintings version of "The Story of Psyche" is exhibited at Arts Décoratifs Museum in Paris.
Bibliography: Odile Nouvel-Kammerer,
Papiers Peints Panoramiques, Paris, Flammarion, 1990, pp. 262-263; Arts Décoratifs online database.