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The origins of panoramic wallpapers: a journey through history

The origins of panoramic wallpapers: a journey through history

In 1800, Paris witnessed a groundbreaking event in the world of art – an exhibition showcasing the first panoramic paintings, led by the American inventor, Robert Fulton. This occasion left a lasting mark on the city, with the Rue des Panoramas standing today as a testament to its unique legacy.

However, the seeds of panoramic art had been sown a decade earlier when Irish artist Robert Baker patented the concept. His vision was ambitious – to create expansive landscapes without borders, immersing viewers in scenes that transcended visual grasp. The aim was to transport the observer to another realm, perhaps even another time.

The appeal of these grand-scale paintings soon caught the attention of French wallpaper manufacturers. Among them were the renown wallpapering houses of Zuber and Dufour, both established in 1797. Inspired by Fulton’s exhibition, they embarked on a remarkable endeavor – to shift panoramic paintings into wallpaper art.

The challenge was immense, requiring craftsmanship and innovative printing techniques. Yet, they rose to the occasion, translating the sweeping landscapes and beautiful details of grand paintings onto panoramic mural wallpapers with unparalleled artistry.

From Vision to Reality: The Birth of Panoramic Wallpapers

Thus, panoramic wallpapers were born – a fusion of artistic vision and technical expertise. These wallpapers brought the grandeur of panoramic paintings into everyday homes, allowing walls to tell stories of distant lands, historic events, and breathtaking landscapes. The blossoming industry of French panoramic murals coincided with the exploration of – and fascination with – what Europeans considered to be exotic landscapes and primitive cultures, such as life in India, the tropics, or the former colonies.

As Michael Mott, a historian and co-author of “Wallpaper in America,” reflects, “Panoramic wallpapers were a way to escape, to travel without leaving the comfort of your home.” This sentiment echoes the essence of these wallpapers, which invited viewers to journey through time with every glance.

Fast forward to the present day, and the charm of panoramic wallpapers continues. They continue to adorn walls with scenes of majestic landscapes, lush forests, romantic gardens and journeys in tropical jungles. Whether in grand estates or modern apartments, panoramic wallpapers create a sense of timeless beauty, depth, and visual story.

Panoramic Wallpapers Today

In today’s interior design, panoramic wallpapers find their place mostly as feature wall statements. Imagine a fairy tale like orchard garden stretching across a living room wall, creating a sense of urban chic. Or perhaps a lush tropical jungle scene scene adorning a bedroom, inviting a serene ambiance for relaxation.

These wallpapers are more than mere decorations. They tell a story and always leave the viewer ask for questions. Panoramic wallpapers are a great fit for a feature wall but make even bigger wow effect when installed across the walls of the room. There is a story for each wall and the design never bores.

To create a space with a touch of extraordinary, combine the often historical themed panoramic wallpaper with contemporary furniture. By doing so, you simply avoid stuffy look and the result is a chic design combining rich wallpaper with minimal furnishings. Take a look at our selected panoramic wallpapers for ideas or browse all murals here!


  • https://www.nytimes.com/2000/10/08/arts/art-architecture-when-walls-bore-lessons-for-the-chic.html
  • https://www.travelfranceonline.com/passage-des-panoramas-covered-gallery/
  • https://surfacefragments.blogspot.com/2011/04/les-monuments-de-paris-joseph-dufour.html

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