Hidden in Plain View: Chinese Wallpapers in Britain and Ireland
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18:30 to 19:30

For three hundred years, western interior decoration has incorporated Chinese wallpaper. From flourishing trade in the seventeenth century to today’s design choices, there is a global demand for Chinese art and design. Today we can find examples of sumptuously painted wallpapers preserved in historical homes across the UK and yet, despite their prevalence, how much do we know about how these papers were produced and what stories and artistic traditions they represent?

Join expert Emile de Bruijn as he enriches our understanding of Chinese wallpaper and explains how Europeans fell for them, how the Chinese market and artisans responded to this new demand, the original meanings and contexts of Chinese paintings, prints and wallpapers, and the way they are used in British and Irish interiors from the late seventeenth century onward.

You’ll never look at the walls at China Exchange the same way again!

About Emile de Bruijn

Emile de Bruijn is a member of the central collections management team at the National Trust. He studied Japanese and museology at the universities of Leiden and Essex and worked in the Japanese and Chinese departments of the auctioneers Sotheby’s in London before joining the National Trust. Emile’s most recent publication is Chinese Wallpaper in Britain and Ireland (Philip Wilson, 2017).


Event image credit: The Chinese Bedroom at Belton House, Lincolnshire. ©National Trust Images/Andreas von Einsiedel