The Native Peoples of the Pacific Ocean (Les Sauvages de la Mer Pacifique) Wallpaper

Designed by Jean-Gabriel Charvet, French, 1750 - 1829. Printed by Joseph Dufour et Cie, Mâcon, France, 1797 - 1835.

Made in Mâcon, France, Europe

Designed 1804-1805

Block-printed, stenciled, and hand-brushed gouache (opaque watercolor) on paper

8 feet 8 1/2 inches x 3 feet 7 1/8 inches x 1 inches (265.4 x 109.5 x 2.5 cm)

Curatorial Department:
European Decorative Arts and Sculpture

* Gallery 295, European Art 1500-1850, second floor

Accession Number:

Credit Line:
Gift of Dr. Anne Mitchell McAllister in memory of William Young McAllister, 1921

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The images on this panoramic wallpaper are drawn from accounts of European voyages to the Pacific undertaken in the late eighteenth century by French and British explorers, in particular Captain James Cook, who embarked on three expeditions to this region between the years 1768 and 1779. The Tahitian-inspired landscape is populated by native people from various Pacific islands, shown in their distinctive costumes.

The manufacturer, Joseph Dufour, issued a pamphlet at the time of the wallpaper's release explaining that the peaceful, idyllic scenes were intended "to reveal the natural bonds of taste and enjoyment that exist between all men."

* Works in the collection are moved off view for many different reasons. Although gallery locations on the website are updated regularly, there is no guarantee that this object will be on display on the day of your visit.