Woodblock print wallpaper

Wallpaper panels illustrating scenes from Les Incas, ou la Destruction de l’Empire de Perou, written by Jean Francois Marontel (1723-1799). 

Doris Duke installed the panels at Rough Point by 1958.

These detailed woodblock prints are an incomplete set and part of a larger panorama made up of 30 individual panels. The wallpaper frames a narrative of an imagined past and tells the origin story of the Incan empire from the perspective of the Spanish colonizers. The creators of the wallpaper includes details of food, fashion, and fanciful architecture as part of the narrative showing the triumph of Western empiricism and reason over the “exotic” Incan peoples.  

Interestingly enough, Doris Duke did not install the wallpaper in the correct (or original order), so the story is now not linear. Instead, it ends at the beginning, with the birth of the Incan empire.