Chinese Wallpaper has been an important element of European interior decoration for three hundred years. As trade between Europe and China flourished in the 17th century, Europeans developed a strong taste for Chinese art and design. The stunningly beautiful wallcoverings now known as “Chinese wallpaper” were an early-modern global product at the heart of China’s trade with the West, but few people know that the sumptuous decorations were, in fact, developed by Chinese painting workshops in response to western demand.
On January 28, the British National Trust’s Emile de Bruijn will examine a woodblock-printed wallpaper from 1750 that has survived in three historic British houses, to explore wallpaper’s important role in China-inspired design from the 18th century to today.
Emile de Bruijn is one of the world’s leading experts on Chinese Wallpaper. He worked in the Japanese and Chinese departments of the auctioneers Sotheby’s in London before joining the National Trust, where he is now a member of the central collections management team. Emile has lectured and published on many different aspects of chinoiserie in historic houses and gardens. He is the author of Chinese Wallpaper in Britain and Ireland (2017), and a co-author of the catalogue Chinese Wallpaper in National Trust Houses (2014).