How To Choose Frames For Paintings

How To Choose Frames For Paintings

Crowd looking at The Mona Lisa.

Mona Lisa, one of the most famous paintings in the world has survived for over half a millennium. Since Leonardo Da Vinci painted Mona Lisa in the early 16th century, the painting has passed through many hands to reach its current place of exhibition – the Louvre Museum, Paris.

Interestingly, the Mona Lisa has never underwent full restoration, but remains as one of the most well-preserved paintings that exist today. Its exceptional condition is attributed to centuries of careful handling.

One pivotal component that keeps the Mona Lisa safe is the framing that it is housed in. Various frames were used to house the painting across the years. Handlers went to great lengths to ensure that each frame provided the utmost protection for the painting, in addition to enhancing it. The Mona Lisa is currently housed in a flexible oak frame that accommodates the warping of its panels. This set-up is placed under strict conditions, behind bullet-proof glass at the Louvre.

Now, there is plenty that we can learn from the safekeeping of a valuable art piece such as the Mona Lisa when it comes to framing artwork. In essence, a frame works both to preserve a painting and also to accentuate it. The process of choosing a suitable frame is therefore one that must be done after proper deliberation.

If you have artwork that you would like to frame, here is an article about how you can choose a suitable frame for your painting.

When choosing a frame for your painting, there are various angles that you can approach to aid you in your decision. Just keep in mind that the frame should enhance but not overpower the artwork. Additionally, the frame should also act as a vessel of protection for art pieces and shield them from surrounding elements.

The Medium Of The Painting

It is important to take note of the medium of the painting when searching for frames to house in it.

For more delicate paintings such as watercolour and pastel pieces, a glass frame that comes with a sturdy mount will do the trick. As for charcoal or graphite sketches, ensure that the glass of the frame does not come in contact with the artwork to prevent any smudging. Glass frames are normally used to protect paper-based pieces from UV light that may damage the paper in the long run.

Generally, there is no need for oil paintings to have a frame with glass, owing to the solid nature of canvas, as well as oil paint. An oil painting is usually given a layer of varnish once it has had time to dry (approximately 6 months). When framing oil paintings, you can opt for glassless frames, floating frames or just omit frames entirely. Nonetheless, should you choose to frame your oil painting, a common practice is to pair it up with a bulky wooden frame.

Simple picture and frame in home.

The Colour Scheme

When choosing a frame colour, the rule of thumb is to pair the frame colour with a dominant colour in the painting. It all boils down to how you want to present a piece of work. To make a painting stand out, you can create a subtle contrast between the painting and the frame. Contrast can be created by pairing dark frames with light paintings or vice versa.

On the other hand, you may be perfectly satisfied with a frame that does not represent any colours in the painting. Just be sure to choose a frame that doesn’t conflict with the piece and is able to add aesthetic value to it.

Plant picture with plants on display.

The Borders Of The Frame

You would be surprised how different frames can drastically alter the visual presentation of a painting. A thin frame may not have the same effect as a wider frame when it comes to shifting focus to a more complex painting. While a wider frame may overshadow a simpler art piece. The key here is to create a proper balance that gives due focus to the artwork.

Additionally, you can experiment with double mount frames which help to draw attention to the painting.

The Context Of The Painting

Art is a highly subjective matter that mean different things to different people. Nonetheless, when it comes to framing artwork, some consideration should be given to its context. Taking the Mona Lisa as an example, a modern thin black frame will surely not do justice for a traditional piece of such high value. As such, a renaissance-era frame was appropriately chosen to house it. While the choices of frames for contemporary pieces are much more flexible, therefore open to interpretation and experimentation.

All in all, sufficient understanding and research should be done before choosing a suitable frame for any paintings in your possession. Should you need assistance on this, there are always professional framing services available.

Monochrome frame and picture in minimalistic setting.

The Space In Which The Painting Is Placed

It is also wise to look beyond the painting and take into account your surroundings when picking a frame. This is to ensure that the selected frame(s) compliment your interior setting. Should your home be a modern minimalistic haven, a simple monochrome frame will fit right in. While warm light wooden frames can work with spaces that feature more elements of nature.

Suffice to say, the process of framing a piece of artwork is an art of its own. Thus, it is best to consult an industry expert for your framing needs!

Trust Impress Galleries’ Art Consultants To Build Your Collection

With more than 25 years of experience in the arts industry in Singapore, Impress Galleries is committed to providing top-quality art consultancy and distribution services for individuals and businesses. Our team of experienced art consultants is well versed in the Singapore art scene, helping you develop your vision for your space and sourcing for the best pieces to fulfill that vision. Our collection is sourced globally, and includes artwork by many famous local artists.

We also provide a range of artwork installation and framing services in Singapore for those who are looking to set up and maintain their collections of artwork. Whether you’re looking to brighten up your space or frame your favourite art pieces, we have the solution for you. Get in touch with our art consultants today!

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