The Art of Framing

While we’re often taught it’s what’s on the inside that counts, the relationship between a frame and the picture resting inside of it is a great deal more nuanced than that. The adage, ‘don’t judge a book by its cover’ also springs to mind, however for most of us, passing this sort of judgement is almost unavoidable. And so it can be for picture frames too, which often are relegated to the realm of the tattered or tacky dust jacket, concealing an uninspired text. Instead they should be thought of in terms of the elegant bookcase, proudly displaying the fine works within them.

A carefully chosen and customised frame will elevate even the most generic print. A good framer will consider personal style, the picture’s intended location and the materials that will best enhance the original image. The works collected by Mark have benefited from sharing gallery space with Mark’s father, Paul Mitchell, an expert in antique and reproduction frames. Each picture has therefore been framed with the utmost care and attention to each work’s aesthetic, alongside its historical context.

The Classic Frame

The ornate china ginger jar, and the rich autumnal colours of the slightly overripe fruit featured in Bale’s still life lend a sense of wealth and fullness to the scene. The water gilded frame is a replica of an original French 19th century frame, and complements the lush golden tones of the pears and the rim of the Chinese jar. The complete work has a sense of opulence and historic dignity.

The Minimal Frame

By contrast the clean white framing of Weissbort’s depiction of downtime in his studio seems rather modest. However the delicate gilded detailing of the gessoed frame allows the subtle textures of the scene to shine through. With no bold frame to fight against, the viewer is drawn in to observe the subtle shadows and ridges of a crumpled napkin, the hint of an ice cube in a glass of Pepsi. The touches of colour on the bottles and ashtray shine out from the freshly presented scene.

The framing of a picture can be the final step in the process of acquiring a new work, and to some may come as an afterthought. However, when the nature of the artwork is understood, and the frame chosen with sensitivity and knowledge, it can emphasise the unique qualities and subtle nuances of every image. View our full range of framed works on our website or contact us directly today.

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