This striking set of 4 grey monochrome wallpapers depicts the mythological scene of the princess Pysche in her bath. The scene is called “Psyche Au Bain” or Psyche Bathing, and it is based off of a collection of murals by the Neoclassical artists, Louis Lafitte and Merry-Joseph Blondel. Lafitte and Blondel collaborated together from 1814-1816 to design these panels telling the mythological story of Cupid and Psyche. In 1816, they were manufactured by the famous French wallpaper company Joseph Dufour et Cie, and later re-created in the second half of the 19th century by the French company, Desfosse & Karth.
According to Roman mythology, the god of love and desire, Cupid, fell in love with the mortal princess, Psyche, after accidentally pricking himself with one of his arrows. Cupid arranges for Zephyrus, the West Wind, to bring Psyche to his domain. Upon arriving at Cupid’s house, a voice tells Psyche to allow the attendants to bathe her. Psyche agrees to the command of the unseen host, which is the aspect of the story illustrated by our Grisaille panels. If you look closely, you can spot Cupid hiding behind a column on the leftmost panel, watching intently.
The original Dufour panels were manufactured as several smaller sheets joined together. This process led to a discreet, yet visible seam. Technology improved as the century progressed, allowing Desfosse & Karth to produce the entire mural as one piece, which could be cut it into sections to suit their needs. You will notice from a few of our photos, that the excess material has been adhered to the back of the modern board that the paper is affixed to. As machine technology improved, individual block printed sections were no longer required.
This fantastic set of wallpaper panels would look great anywhere in the house, but given the subject matter, they would be exceptional on a bedroom or boudoir wall.
CONDITION: Good condition with nick to one of the top of one panels (see photo). Other minor markings throughout. Boards are modern, and hooks have been added for easy hanging.