But... yer' right... there are lots of examples of painted up stuff in
'lower class' surroundings...
One of my favorite examples of this is in a leatherworking technique
originally out of Spain called Guadameci . In guadameci thin (originally alum
tawed corsican ram skin, later vegetable tanned skin from a variety of animals)
would be wetted, leafed with silver or tin (there's that lower class
thing), pressed in a wooden mold to form an embossed item and then painted with
translucent paints and the designs outlined in opaque black
paint. The items were made as small as 12 inches by 12 inches for use
as small wall hangings, or as large as repeating patterns used as wall
paper. Queen Elizabeth had a bedroom wallpapered and a matching
bedspread made for one of her manor houses in this manner. By that time,
the practice had been greatly refined and had spread throughout Europe.
There were even laws written about how it had to be done (originally only
corsican ram skin was allowed) and how it had to be represented (the
penalty for representing tin leafed items as silver was execution.)
Now want to hear about a Victorian "Gentleman" deserving of a good
trouncing? A Victorian era merchant who purchased a manor home from the mid
1600s, upon discovering the reason why the walls in his study were so bright,
had the entire room stripped of the 200 yr old guadameci and the guadameci
burned in order to recover the silver. He recovered over 8 POUNDS of silver.
That is a LOT of silver leaf meaning he probably had over 100 sq ft of this
beautiful leatherwork destroyed.
Okay, I admit it. I may be only pathetic as a wood worker, but my
leatherworking and knowledge of it ain't half bad.