This complete and early set of scenic wallpaper is a rare survivor. It is one of the earliest editions of Les Vues d'Italie by Joseph Dufour and Co, Paris, and was block printed between 1812 and 1825. Though the designer of this series is currently unknown, it is largely based upon engravings by Constant Bourgois (1767-1841), mixed with elements of works by other artists such as Hubert Robert (panels 11-16) and Watteau (panels 27-33). With the exception of the figures, the first five panels depicting the Bay of Naples is almost an exact copy of a 1791 Bourgois engraving numbered 84 and titled Vue du Vèsuve et d'une partie de la ville de Naples. (O. Nouvel-Kammerer, French Scenic Wallpaper 1765-1865, Paris, 1991, pp.300-1, no. 63.).
Other subsequent editions of this series were printed though they were not exact copies. Dufour's successor, DesFosse and Karth, produced a second grisaille edition of Les Vues d'Italie in 1840 but according to Bernard Jacque, curator of the Musée du Papier Peint in Rixheim, France who examined the present set, the color and contrasts of the slightly later version differ from the original printing. This series was reissued again but in color by Desfoss & Karth in the second half of the 19th century.
Joseph Dufour (1752-1827) was born in Lyon, a center for fabric and wallpaper, where he worked until he moved to Paris. By 1808, he was recorded as working at 10, rue Beauvau. In 1821, his daughter married A. Leroy, who became his associate and later his successor. At the 1819 Exposition des Produits de l'Industrie, Dufour was awarded a silver medal (Un Age d'or des arts décoratifs 1814-1848, Paris, 1991, pp. 122-123). After Dufour's death in 1827, Leroy continued to produce wallpaper under Dufour and Leroy until he assigned the rights to the firm of Lapeyre et Drouard in 1836. In 1865, Defoss & Karth acquired the rights and original wooden blocks from Lapeyre et Drouard.