Collage was first used in China around 200BC at the time of the invention of paper but it was not until the 10th century when it became more widely used in Japan by calligraphers who applied glued paper with text onto surfaces in poetry writing. During the 13th century collage techniques were practiced and in the 15th and 16th centuries gold leaf, precious metals and gemstones were used in collage form to decorate icons, coats of arms and religious artefacts. In the 19th century it was popular to apply collage to books, albums and memorabilia. Collage has been produced by artists such as Braque, Picasso and Matisse.
There are many types of collage including mosaic, digital collage and photomontage. Decoupage, which is another form of collage involves building up multiple copies of an identical image that is cut and layered to add depth and can be traced back to Asia before the 12th century. It became popular during the 17th and 18th century, particularly in Venice and was known to be practiced by Marie Antoinette, Madame de Pompadour and Beau Brummell.
Decollage is the opposite of collage and is created by tearing, cutting and removing pieces of an original image. The technique of decollage was first used in 1954 by Wolf Vostell.
Collage in all its forms and decollage continue to be very popular handicrafts and are still widely practiced today.