For anyone who has ever wished they could take home one of the 2,300 works of art in Britain’s National Gallery without turning to a life of crime, there is a fingerprint-free, online solution. Martin Waller, founder of interior design firm Andrew Martin, owns the much-coveted licence to reproduce digital versions of the National’s paintings, and he does so on customisable, vinyl-printed wallpaper (£139.90 per sq m).
Clients can select which masterpiece they wish to adopt by either browsing Andrew Martin’s website, visiting the National Gallery in person or heading to the gallery’s website (paintings with a reference number starting NG are available to buy as wallpapers from the Andrew Martin site). “Our online library,” says Waller, “is made up of highly photographed imagery that is so minutely detailed that the paintings can be blown up to 10 times their original size – we did that with a Canaletto recently – or cropped to highlight particular details, as we have done with a Rousseau.” The top sellers are the well-known works such as Monet’s Water Lilies, Turner’s The Fighting Temeraire and Rousseau’s Surprised!, he adds, but other works available include Fra Angelico’s The Forerunners of Christ with Saints and Martyrs and Rubens’ A Lion Hunt.
Once a choice has been made, users submit their sizings and the painting number through the website. A visual proof is supplied prior to printing, in case of any last-minute changes in taste from Giotto to Van Gogh or Hogarth to Holbein, and then the wallpaper is printed using colourfast inks on a vinyl that can be wiped clean.
Orders take around two or three weeks to be made and delivered, and Andrew Martin is able to quote for and organise installation by its expert UK fitter. Most clients chose to just decorate one wall, Waller says, although full rooms can also be catered for.