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Frieze (France)

This is a Frieze. It is dated 1835–45 and we acquired it in 1931. Its medium is block-printed and stenciled on machine-made paper. It is a part of the Wallcoverings department.

This deep perspective is rather unusual for a frieze paper and this effect was usually reserved for scenic wallpapers until landscape friezes were popularized in the very late 19th century. This strong perspective draws your eyes into the distance, visually opening up the room and making the space appear larger. The view looks dead on into a colonnaded courtyard or cloister, opening in the distance to a growth of trees. This opens up to a sky that is beautifully shaded from a light terra cotta to a crisp blue. The courtyard is filled with a cast of characters dressed in brightly colored Shakespearean costume as well as a single monk or friar.
This is woodblock printed in about 15 colors, not including the sky. Interesting to note is that the large expanses of white and the blue filling the arches have been over painted with brush and stencil.

This object was donated by Eleanor Garnier Hewitt and Sarah Cooper Hewitt. It is credited Gift of Eleanor and Sarah Hewitt.

  • Sidewall, Britannia
  • block printed on handmade paper.
  • Gift of The Mary Washington Colonial Chapter, NSDAR.
  • 2004-22-1

Our curators have highlighted 5 objects that are related to this one. Here are three of them, selected at random:

  • Frieze (France)
  • block printed on continuous paper.
  • Gift of David Marshall.
  • 2007-55-1

Its dimensions are

H x W x D: 54 x 116.8 cm (21 1/4 in. x 46 in.)

Cite this object as

Frieze (France); block-printed and stenciled on machine-made paper; H x W x D: 54 x 116.8 cm (21 1/4 in. x 46 in.); Gift of Eleanor and Sarah Hewitt; 1931-45-80

This object was previously on display as a part of the exhibitions Hewitt Sisters Collect and The Cooper-Hewitt Collections: A Design Resource.

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If you would like to cite this object in a Wikipedia article please use the following template:

<ref name=CH>{{cite web |url= |title=Frieze (France) |author=Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum |accessdate=9 December 2022 |publisher=Smithsonian Institution}}</ref>