They had some striking wallpaper in France 70 years ago. There was wallpaper that emulated the ornate gold-on-red arabesques of the Empire style, that pastiched stonework, and, far in advance of the date you might guess, paper in an assortment of modern abstract designs – coloured bars, teardrop-like blue petals, cubist triangles. You could buy wallpaper printed with ridged relief maps of the continents, olive-brown against grey oceans. Presumably, this didactic geographical wallpaper was intended for a child’s bedroom. It took the imagination of Picasso to turn it into a dress.
In 1938, the 20th century’s greatest painter made a work of art out of wallpaper
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