History of Wall Panelling in Interior Design Periods


Early Georgian Interiors c. 1714 - 1760

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The same artist introduced the first printed coloured paper-something in the nature of a coloured print, and called 'Chiaro oscuro.' These rather brilliant papers, now known as `Jackson Prints' were extremely crude in colour and followed the `rococo' styles which were in the 40's and 50's another fashionable departure from classic restrictions.


The `Rococo' or Venetian style of decoration was based on the Baroque of Italy which followed close upon the heels off the Renaissance. It was a conscious effort to distort and break away from the too familiar and well ­balanced aspect of a pure classic ideal. The result as the term `rococo' implies was a rocky effect with broken pediments and other fragments of architectural significance introduced into a scrolled and foliated whole which was in no wise symmetrical.


The rococo style in England followed immediately after, and was indeed some­times simultaneous with late Palladian. In the normal way such ornament was executed in stucco or papier rndche gilded or coloured, and was included in every type of interior decoration; some of the suggested designs for wall, decorat­ion that still exist on paper were altogether overpowering. There were, however, a few delightful examples of `restrained rococo' and of these a particularly elegant room exists at Combe near Honiton in Devonshire. The decoration is confined to the plaster ceiling, the chimney-piece, and the two doorways, a skirting board with small acanthus leaf moulding runs round the room. Probably the walls were originally hung with silk or a wallpaper, and the original decorat­ion was painted white and gold for traces of this still exist on the ceiling. (See frontispiece.)


Here restraint and elegance are the supreme factors and the whole is extremely happy. This is obviously not the work of a copyist but that of a rare artist.


Fantastic birds perch precariously on fragments of broken architectural form, flowers and fruits, scrolls and urns balance in improbable places, a minute fox beneath the mirror looks up at birds of mammoth proportions, yet the whole flows happily about its business of pleasing decoration.


 The carving on the frieze over the doors is also of a rare quality, and combines the features of fine classic proportion and ornament with the same or similar design as that on chimney-piece and ceiling.

 

Carved Doorway

Carved Doorway

COMBE, DEVON

c. 1750

 

 

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