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The Brigham Galleries

 

How To Frame A Painting

 

Emile A. Gruppe
Before After
Emile A. Gruppe (1896 - 1978)
Clam Diggers
(Signed Lower Right: Emile A. Gruppe)
24 x 20
oil on canvas

Emile Gruppe was known for using very inexpensive and not particularly good frames,  probably as he was such a prolific artist (10,000 – 12,000 paintings in his lifetime!).  When we acquired this painting, we changed the frame for a high quality gold leafed frame that enhances the painting.  Note how the linen colored liner and greenish/gray color of the original frame accented the fog in the painting.  The warmth of the gold frames, with the clay colored under painting, brings out the browns and warms up the painting a bit.  A viewer does not always realize the effect of the frame on a painting, but it certainly has an impact. 

 

For more information on this painting, visit Emile Gruppe's Page.

Jan Brough

Artist Jan Brough works with Guido’s Frame Shop in Boston, which produces the finest quality of hand gold leafed frames.  Gold leafed frames are expensive as there are many hours of time invested.  The first step involves carving or constructing a wood frame.  Many layers of rabbit hide glue and gesso are applied.  Next, there is a layer of paint applied.  Interestingly, this is often an indication of time period.  The tradition on early America was to use a Williamsburg Blue color, but this has since shifted to a Terracotta color.  Then sheets of Gold Leaf are applied, and depending upon the desired result, the leafing is burnished to various levels.  The color that peeks out from under the gold leaf pulls out corresponding colors in the painting.  Early American frames would enhance the “cool” (blue) colors in the painting, and the current style enhances the “warm” (red) color in the painting.  Note how the hint of Terracotta undertones in this frame enhance the warmth of this painting.  Skip ahead to the Macy painting on this page for an example of a painting with the blue undertones below the gold leafing. 

For more information on this painting,
visit Jan Brough's Page.
Jan Brough
Wharf Cottages II
11 x 14
oil on panel
Jura Bedic


Here is an example of a high quality, painted and gold leafed custom frame.  Jura Bedic, a Croatian artist who lives and paints in Italy, has his frames built using a combination of gold leafed and painted wood frames.  As you can see, they perfectly complement these particular paintings.  The framed paintings bow to historical paintings, as they are in the tradition of Dutch masters, and Bedic has incorporated a George Inness painting in the background of the right hand painting.  And in the left hand painting he has incorporated a similarly framed painting of black and gold, which enhances the strength of the frame.

 

Jura Bedic
Still Life with Sea Shells
15 x 19
oil on linen
 
Jura Bedic
Nautilus
15 x 19
oil on linen
For more information on this painting,
visit Jura Bedic's Page.
William Ferdinand Macy


William Ferdinand Macy (1852 - 1901)
Coastal Scene with Sailing Boat
(Signed Lower Left: W. Ferdinand Macy / '94)
13 x 36
oil on canvas

This frame is a combination of exposed grained wood with a carved, gold leafed portion.  While the seams in the corners of the frame are not completely sealed, it does not detract from the value of the painting.  In fact, the obvious imperfections only enhance the value as they speak to the age of the original frame (1894).  It is just possible to see the blue underpainting coming through the gold leaf, which confirms that it is an Early American frame.      

For more information on this painting, visit William Macy's Page.

Albert Aublet

While this frame is not particularly special in and of itself, it is a nice complement to Aublet’s painting, and was selected by the artist in 1880.  The small painting is filled with detail, which the artist appropriately matched with a detailed frame.  The reds in the frame bring out dominant accent color in the painting.  Because this is the original frame, it is of some historic value, in that it was chosen by the artist over a century ago.  It is not inconceivable that a client would want a more important frame for this painting, but keeping this frame is entirely appropriate. 




For more information on this painting,
visit Albert Aublet's Page.
Albert Aublet (1851 - 1938)
L'Heure du Bain au Treport
(Signed Lower Left: Albert Aublet/ 1880)
7 x 14
oil on panel
Frank Weston Benson

 

Frank Benson, one of most popular artists of his time, painted this portrait of Ms. Sanders which was representative of work from the height of career. It was shown at an historic art event, the first biennial of Corcoran Gallery in DC, which was attended by President & Mrs. Roosevelt. The value of the painting is enhanced by this elaborate frame, which was custom ordered by Benson and indicative of framing common to the Boston school. Note how the tone of the frame was chosen to bring out the colors in the sumptuous fabrics. This framed painting is to be included in an upcoming Catalogue Raisonne by Vose Galleries.
Frank Weston Benson (1862 - 1951)
Portrait of a Lady - Mary Kemble Webb Sanders
(Signed Lower Left: F.W. Benson / 1907)
43.75 x 36
oil on canvas