Best Frames For Oil Paintings: The History of Their Appearance

April 22, 2024

1) Frames for oil painting

Painting experts helped write this material and for more details on this topic can be found here:

As soon as oil paintings appeared, artists began to think about how to design their works from an aesthetic point of view. It was believed that the frame around the painting should be a kind of continuation of the composition on the canvas and at the same time so that there was no strong emphasis on itself. The artists took into account that the frame is not just a functional element that protects and supports the painting from external factors, but also an important part of the overall visual complement of the room’s design. The frames are created by masters in such a way as to harmonize with the painting, complement and emphasize the elements of the artist’s creativity. This included selecting materials, such as trim and decorative frame elements, that would match the style and mood of the oil painting.

The frames themselves began to spread from the 14th century - they did not have any individuality of their own, but only had a certain artistic significance and were covered with gilding. It was only during the Renaissance that frames with complex patterns began to appear, which could resemble ornate architectural structures. And massive products were often made in the form of deep openings, thereby creating the impression that this was a dimension in another world, and other frames looked as if they were made for mirrors. In the manufacture of such frames, products from precious materials were often used, which made the oil painting especially valuable and meaningful for its owner - and aesthetically unusual for the design of the room.

Beginning in the 17th century, artists just began to use frames to enhance the desired effect of an oil painting. The entire frame was a series of descending steps towards the image on the canvas, and this design not only distracted from the painting itself, but also became aesthetically attractive. Creating a kind of visual comfort when viewing a painting and concentrating all attention on it. Considering the option of a frame with stepped colors: black and dark brown, this effect will only intensify, and the painting will speak about itself. Starting from the Baroque period, frames could display both sculptures and detailed ornaments with rich details. They depicted on the frames predatory animals, birds, intertwining flowers, figures of graceful people, and thus the masters moved away from the concept: “frames should be a visual continuation of the painting.” And from the Rococo era, complete disaster began - the paintings ceased to perform the desired function and were simply lost among the rich details and elegance in the design of the frames.

What Types of Frames Are There For Oil Paintings?

Today, frames have a wide range of different materials, but the base is wood, the profile is assembled from layers of several types of wood, which prevents the frame from bending. The design of frames for oil paintings is often made in gold - which gives an elite look and perfectly highlights ancient paintings. It is necessary to take into account such criteria that each genre and theme of the painting, as well as the design of the room, plays an important role in deciding which frame design is most suitable.

Basic Shapes of Frames For Oil Paintings

The rectangular frame format is the most common and versatile, which is perfect for such genres of oil paintings as: portraits, landscapes, still lifes and abstract art - there are no restrictions here. Frames for rectangular paintings can be simple and minimalistic so as not to distract attention from the work, or decorated with a baguette with decorative elements that emphasize the style or mood of the painting. The rectangular format is easily integrated into various room interior styles due to its versatility.

Square frame format - although not used as often as rectangular, it can give an oil painting a special aesthetics and uniqueness. This format is suitable for such genres of paintings as portraits, landscapes and still lifes - there is not such a wide choice. However, due to its peculiarity, it may not be so universal and suitable for all room interiors.

Rondo frame format is a circle format that gives an oil painting an unusual and sophisticated look. Although this is not the most common format, it can be an excellent choice for portraits or for paintings with organic, flowing shapes - a very limited choice. Rondo creates a feeling of harmony and a certain completeness in space, which makes it attractive for the interior of the room - there are interesting combinations between other shapes of frames.

Elliptical frame format - suitable for paintings with religious themes, portraits and other works that require special attention to form - a measured choice. An elliptical frame can create a feeling of grace and nobility that suits certain interior styles such as classic or antique - which may not be the case for everyone.

It is important to consider that before choosing frames for oil paintings, you should strictly take into account the style of the interior in the house - this is furniture, decor, what kind of wallpaper or paint is on the wall, and so on.

Best Frame For Oil Painting: What Frames Are Suitable For Paintings?

To answer this question correctly, you need to choose a frame that will complement and emphasize the beauty of the oil painting and at the same time add the necessary style to the interior of the room. The choice of frame depends on several decisive factors, such as the genre and size of the painting, as well as the design and characteristics of the interior of the room - this is the only way to conclude that this is the best frame for an oil painting. Below we will go through the steps for choosing a frame for an existing painting:

1. As mentioned earlier: the frame and the painting must act as a single whole, complement each other and have a smooth continuation of the composition on the canvas. The relief and borders of the frame can reproduce the outlines of what is drawn in the painting - this way it will be in harmony with each other. For canvases that have warm tones, bronze and gold-colored frames are suitable.

2. It is necessary to take into account that when choosing large frames, they are ready to cast shadows according to the size of the frame itself - here you will have to work thoroughly on the calculations so that the lighting angle turns out to be as aesthetically pleasing as the painting.

3. An important factor is the size of the frame, and for a small painting large baguettes are suitable, and here the main thing must be done correctly: the area of the frame is equal to more than the area of the painting. Then the painting and the frame will complement each other from the point of view of a single work.

4. It is important to consider what material the frame is made of - wood is suitable for any genre of painting, also, if it is wooden narrow strips, then it is in perfect harmony with the patterns and this will well emphasize the drawn theme of the oil painting.

5. The style of the painting is of great importance before choosing a frame - so, if you take avant-gardeism, then it will look stupid and ridiculous on a luxurious baguette and is absolutely not useful for a valuable work, no matter how narrow the frame is made of aluminum-colored metal.

6. Frames that are coated with iron are suitable for modern oil paintings - a combination of silver and gold can balance out too flashy colors and mixing with bright tones. Paintings painted with ink and charcoal will look great in a strict black frame. And paintings made with watercolors on high-quality paper are best framed in a mat - they should be placed under a special protective glass so that the paints do not fade. Note: the paper should not be allowed to come into contact with the glass - the painting will simply be damaged.

All these steps that have been written, if you take them into account, then from here it will turn out that there will be that best frame for your oil painting, and it will go perfectly with the interior of the room.

Oil Painting Framing Cost: What Affects This?

Among the popular frames for oil paintings was and remains wood; it has always been in price, and at the same time it has a number of key advantages, such as different colors, suitable for any room interior, and also durable and environmentally friendly. But recently, frames made of plastic have become increasingly popular - this material is cheaper than wood, and at the same time the demand for such baguettes is quite high. And the color palette of such plastic frames has a fairly wide range, and it can be either imitation wood or baguettes of various textures.

There is also a material that is made of aluminum - this also has its price, and the coating can be either glossy or matte with a rectangular or rounded profile. Since metal can be painted in different colors, and has numerous shapes and sizes, such frames are suitable for different genres of oil paintings. At the author's discretion, both silver and gold-colored frames with a glossy or matte surface are especially popular.

There are options for those who like to save money - such frames are called clasp frames and they are like processed glass without the usual baguette profile. It is attached to the back of the oil painting using metal clips, thereby ensuring fixation.

You can pay attention to the nicer frames that are made for children's paintings; they are not wooden, but soft. Oil paintings that are framed in soft frames will be an excellent gift, both for a child (here you should also take simpler paintings, for example, portraits of your favorite characters), and will be a bright decoration for his room.

Making this conclusion, all frames are in demand today and the price varies on factors such as: material, finish, size, brand - where quality will be guaranteed, as well as additional functions - UV protection, antistatic coating or anti-reflective glass. All of these indicators can affect the price of a frame. As one great artist said: “A painting is like a heart that is enclosed in the shell of mortal life, and we choose it in a way that will complement you.” Also with the frame, the main thing is to pay attention to which oil painting and which room is designed and then it will be clear that this is the best frame to choose.


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