Among the most refined goods exported from China were large rolls of decoratively painted paper mostly prepared specifically for the western market. In contrast to their European counterparts, they were masterfully hand-painted and conceived on a grand scale, cut to fit a room and either pasted to the wall or lined on canvas and set on a wooden stretcher. Decorated with a landscape of islands connected by bridges populated by traditional Chinese buildings and figures, this beautiful set of wallpaper panels represents one of the three distinguishable Chinese wallpaper categories: those with figures involved in everyday activities, most commonly rice cultivation or palatial courtly scenes; those with flowering foliage patterns centred upon sinuous young trees issuing from naturalistic rockwork bases with birds and insects; and those with a flowering tree and figures (J. Kosuda-Warner, Landscape Wallcoverings, London, 2001, p. 19).
During the 18th Century, the fashion for chinoiserie was such that most European palaces and grand country houses would have had at least one room that was decorated with Chinese wallpaper panels. A similar set of wallpaper panels are at Castello di Guarene, Turin, illustrated in Roberto Antonetto, Il castello di Guarene: un documento della civiltà piemontese del Settecento, Turin, 1979, pp. 62-63 and also at the Fondazione Accorsi, illustrated in Roberto Antonetto, Pietro Accorsi: un antiquario, un'epoca, Turin, 1999, p. 130.
Roberto Antonetto, Il castello di Guarene: un documento della civiltà piemontese del Settecento, Turin, 1979, pp. 62-63.
Roberto Antonetto, Pietro Accorsi: un antiquario, un'epoca, Turin, 1999, p. 130.