Le Palais Royal
Auguste Pignet, French, Le Palais Royal, 1805-1810, Wood block print on paper; 188 x 144.5 cm (74 x 56 7/8 inches), Mary B. Jackson Fund 34.952
The Royal Palace is from RISD’s Huard collection, one of the world’s finest assemblages of French wallpaper. This fragment belongs to a series depicting idealized gardens at the Royal Palace, Paris. Scenic wallpapers and their convincing illusionistic spaces served two purposes—to represent expensive architectural finishes such as marble or cut stone, or to transport a room’s denizens to exotic locales through mythological scenes and dramatic landscapes. The Royal Palace with its neoclassical obelisk, weeping willow, women in Empire-waist dresses, and Ionic columns appealed especially to Americans, who associated virtue and democracy with the classical style.