Friday, 31 July 2015

The Hall Of Frame

The trusty picture frame is often a neglected partner to its painted focal point, but the Frames in Focus: Sansovino Frames exhibition at The National Gallery, running until 13 September 2015, hangs the frame as its main attraction, celebrating the most elaborate and beautifully crafted ones.

  Early-baroque style frame. Image from the National Gallery

The collection of 30 frames concentrates on one particular type, the Sansovino, which gained its name in the 19th century from the Italian architect and sculptor Jacopo Sansovino, (1486–1570). Sansovino was responsible for some of Venice’s finest Renaissance buildings, including the Biblioteca Nazionale Marciana. The design of the frame marked a change in the way they were conceived, as frame makers experimented with traditional architectural forms, carved overlapping scrolls, garlands of fruit, masks, broken pediments, and cherubs, comparable to Sansovino's own elaborate style. These works show us that, in fact, the frame itself is a work of art in its own right.

The Biblioteca designed by Jacopo Sansovino

At Alfies we have our very own skilled picture frame craftsman, William Campbell of William Campbell Fine Frames and Framing. William is an artisan with an infectious passion for frames and framing, an uncompromising eye for detail and a comprehensive knowledge of the subject. He has been at Alfies since 1992 and has a wide collection from stunning period gilded frames to more vintage designs with simple lines and block colours.

19th century carved and gilded Florentine frame. Offered by William Campbell

18th century carved and gilded Louis XV frame. Dating 1725 to 1760.

Late 19th century carved oak folk art frame.

Not only do Alfies' dealers offer beautiful handmade picture frames, we also have a stunning range of gilded, beveled and Art Deco mirrors, antique embroidered, wooden and glass photo frames, and vintage illuminated and perspex frames.

A selection of mid century sunburst mirrors. Offered by Louise Verber Antiques

A detailed vintage micro mosaic picture frame. Offered by Hayman & Hayman

1970s pair of Italian mirrors framed in brass with coloured mosaic tiles. Offered by The Moderns

Italian perspex and metal table back-lit mirror 1950. Offered by Thirteen Interiors
A beautiful Art Nouveau mirror with silver mounted frame, Birmingham 1906. Offered by Goldsmith & Perris
An early 20th century easel back gilt wood mirror. Offered by Louise Verber Antiques

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