Manufacture Joseph Dufour
This panoramic wallpaper was produced by the Dufour Manufacture between 1818 and 1920. Freely inspired by Les Aventures de Télémaque, a didactic novel written by Fénelon (1651–1715), for Louis XIV’s grand-son, who was his private pupil. This novel features Telemachus’ imaginary adventures. In search of his father, Ulysses, he is shipwrecked on Calypso’s island. This mural enjoyed a great success in the United States in the early 19th century.
Originally printed in 85 colours on more than 2000 engraved wooden boards, this gorgeous artwork comprised 24 sections. We offer 17 of them, revived and brought up to date thanks to many hours of meticulous and very patient digital restoration.
Collection of Musée des Arts Décoratifs de Paris
Photographic credit: @MAD Paris/ Jean Tholance
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This panoramic wallpaper was created in 1797 by Joseph Dufour, the eponymous manufacturer who, with Zuber and Cie, was one of the outstanding 19th century producers of wallpapers, and especially panoramic murals. Ambitious, talented, humanist, and heavily influenced by the French Revolution ideals, Joseph Dufour set up first in Mâcon, and then in Paris. Initially he kept in step with the style and taste of time, reproducing drapery patterns on papers. He then turned towards literary and exotic themes, particularly in his novel creation panoramic murals.
The first of these, “Les Sauvages de la Mer Pacifique”, was exhibited in Paris in 1806 and enjoyed great success. Joseph Dufour was then considered the most revolutionary creator of the time in the art of decoration, his works and his name becoming known throughout the world, and especially in Europe and in The United States.
This panoramic wallpaper appears in the novels of Honore de Balzac (1799-1850), for example in the description of the well-off middle-class houses in La Rabouilleuse, or on the walls of the sitting-room of the Maison Vauquer, the infamous boardinghouse, in which most of the action of Pere Goriot takes place: "This room, with the poor wooden floor, is panelled to waist height. The wall above is covered with varnished paper showing the principal episodes in the life of Telemachus, featuring classical figures in colour. On the wall between the mesh covered windows, the residents can view Calypso feasting with the son of Ulysses." Balzac indicates the widespread popularity of such panoramic wallpapers at the time by mentioning and describing them over 100 times throughout La Comédie Humaine.
Calypso’s palace – on the left side of the panoramic wallpaper - is inspired by the neoclassical architecture of the Grand Théâtre de Bordeaux, built by Victor Louis between 1773 and 1780. The building itself is easily recognisable, especially in the Corinthian columns and the statues of goddesses and muses, and the whole panoramic wallpaper, designed by Xavier MADER, displays an intimate knowledge of Greek art.
Hanging our wallpapers is done in 3 stages: the preparation of the wall, its pasting, then the hanging. Our strips are hung edge to edge and from left to right in the order indicated on the assembly plan supplied with the rolls. To find out more, consult our Hanging instructions page.
Non-woven wallpaper 150g/ square meter
Total dimensions: width 310cm X height 250cm
Standard panoramic wallpaper sold in 5 rolls of 62cm x 250cm
Matching edge to edge
Manufacturing time: 15 business days
Free shipping from €200
Made in France
Due to the manufacturing process, there could be a variation in color from one production run to the another. If possible, avoid buying different parts of the same design several weeks apart.