Monday, 7 September 2015

Dark Artist Frames

I like all sorts of different art styles and painters, and really like it when artists take a real interest in framing their work. A favourite of mine is Cam Rackam who is known for album cover art, clothing design, and as well as painting some wonderfully dark and interesting paintings, he also hand crafts and adapts his frames. To me it looks like he uses a base Louis XV swept type frame then adds ornament and symbols to make unique frames for his art work. All images from Cam Rackam Instagram.

Paint Finish

A simple finish on a gesso frame; sponged on red and black paint, then bronze powder is sponged on top. Distressed a little with an abrasive pad, a sealer coat of shellac, and then a wax/wash finish.

Saturday, 5 September 2015

Louis Style: French Frames 1610 to 1792 - Exhibition at the Getty Center

Speaking of the closing of the National Gallery frame exhibition (see previous post), the Getty Center in Los Angeles has an upcoming frame exhibition; Louis Style: French Frames 1610-1792 which runs from September 15th to January 3rd 2016 - so plenty of time to see it if you are around LA. 
Details from the Getty website:

What makes a French frame French? Drawn from the Museum's substantial collection, this exhibition presents a survey of the exquisite carved and gilded picture frames from five periods—Louis XIII (1630–1643), Louis XIV (1643–1715), Régence (1715–1723), Louis XV (1723–1774), and Louis XVI (1774–1792). Tracing their development from restrained to elaborate, dynamic forms to classically inspired style, the array presents a splendid compendium of French design, ornament, craftsmanship, and construction and gilding techniques. This exhibition, along with other displays at the Getty, commemorates the 300th anniversary of the death of Louis XIV, France's magnificent Sun King.

A selection of Louis XIII, XIV, XV, and XVI frames in the Getty exhibition.

A Louis XV frame circa 1770 by one of the finest 18th C framemakers; Jean Chérin 1734-1785

Friday, 4 September 2015

Sansovino Frames Exhibition at the National Gallery


There is just over a week left to see the 'Frames in Focus - Sansovino Frames' exhibition at the National Gallery, it runs until the 13th September. I hope that they continue this and put on regular frame exhibitions. Pre-Raphaelite and artist frames, ripple frames, Louis XIII to XV, Spanish frames, and numerous other styles would make good exhibitions.

Cherepovets Art Museum

A selection of paintings and frames seen in Cherepovets Art Museum, in Russia. As is common with every museum I have ever visited in Russia, a mixture of fine original frames, hideous modern mass produced frames, and completely unsuitable frames. The stand out painting in this museum for me is by one of the greatest Russian painters; Ivan Shishkin's Edge of a Forest, which is sadly framed in a mass produced modern frame that would be OK for a print of the painting but not the original, for all I know the original frame maybe being restored and this is a temporary surround, but in my experience I doubt it. Still a nicely presented little art gallery.

 Muse by N.L. Tyutryumov 1821-1877

 Young Girl by I.K. Makarov 1822-1897

 Girl Ironing by K.E. Makovsky 1839-1915

 Foreigners' Arrival in Russia by K.A. Veshchilov 1877-1930

 Popovka Landscape with Forest and Rye Field by Y.Y. Clever 1850-1924

 Edge of a Forest by Ivan Shishkin 1832-1898

 Shishkin frame detail...

Museum of Vasily Vereshchagin.

The Museum of Vasily Vereshchagin in the city of Cherepovets, Russia, is located in the painter's family home and an adjacent building. A truly great painter who had a real interest in framing his work, with some quite distinct frame styles, some of which were made to his detailed designs. Sadly only 10 small oil sketches are on display in the museum, out of a lifetime's work of over 2000 paintings, with only a few in original frames. The artist was good friends with Pavel Tretyakov who purchased many of his paintings. Vereshchagin's home museum is modest but very interesting, and the attendants gave a lot of additional information about his life and work. Here are two paintings with original frames, the first frame is on a painting at Kyoto Temple, and features Japanese themed ornament of dragons, and what look like cherry blossoms, and other foliage. This frame really deserves to be restored. The second frame on a painting of Mount Elbrus, is a quite common Vereshchagin design, with elaborate scrolling carved ornament, sadly overpainted and also worthy of restoration.

A more European frame can be seen on this painting below of a peasant girl. I call this a French Second Empire fluted cove frame, although I understand from a leading American frame expert that in the US they call it a Greek revival frame. This frame looks to also be original:

This painting of a camel is lovely, although the frame does not look that original to me...