Part of the Art – Why Picture Frames Are Essential To Great Art


The Mona Lisa, The Starry Night, The Scream…

We are all very fortunate to be able to enjoy so many incredible works of art. Many of us spend countless hours marvelling at the techniques and vision, but how frequently does the average person consider the role that the frame plays in their enjoyment?

The frame is integral to the presentation of any work of art. Whether we’re looking at a painting, photograph or something else, the frame is critical.

As the National Gallery of Art explains, these frames “must enhance—not distract from—the picture and secure it safely.” The design and the materials of those frames must also complement and enhance the art without overpowering it.

This is no easy task.

By exploring why frames are so important, you can get some great inspiration when it comes to framing your own paintings or photographs. Here’s a look at the importance of frames to help you with creative framing ideas.


The Mood

A frame can give an immediate impression of a particular piece of art. It roots it within a particular period or school of art.

This is one of the reasons that the predominant style of frame changes so frequently: as J. Peder Zane explains in his piece for The New York Times, “it has been been common for each generation to select new frames to express its sensibilities.”

Napoleon understood this, and that’s why he dictated that the Louvre’s collection should be reframed. It’s also why historically-accurate frames are worth incredible amounts of money today. In today’s art scene, people understand the value of an authentic and high-quality frame.

When shopping for your own frame, you should think about the general impression that the frame gives off. That impression will be informed by the following traits.


The Material

The material plays a huge role in communicating about the piece of art that is on display. Grainy wood can give a sentimental feeling, for example, while a more grandiose frame that is painted gold gives an air of refinement and bombast.

When we look at the materials used for famous pieces, there are a huge range of examples. Wood is naturally the most common, but there are also many built from other materials like silver, bronze, aluminium and various plastics.

Each material can communicate something about the art within the frame.


The Structure

Vik Muniz is a Brazilian artist whose work exposes the nuts and bolts of centuries-old masterpieces. His work demonstrates the work that has gone into the world’s most famous frames.

In his special exhibition, he shares his fascination for the back of paintings. He says that this way, he has started “dealing with paintings as objects, not images.” He sees that the back of the painting reflects the artist’s studio and the reality behind the painting.

Indeed, his work reveals the many stages that go into presenting and preserving a piece of art. The structure of the frame cannot really be seen by the viewer, but it determines how long a piece of art can last. The reason we can enjoy original frames today is that they were built using not only the finest materials, but the finest techniques.

When it comes to building your frame, you will want yours to be equally robust. This can ensure that your piece of art has the appropriate level of protection.


The Design

The design is perhaps the most obvious of the elements we are talking about here. A great design can reveal something new about the art within the frame. This wonderful piece from Christie’s – “What Goes Around: The Art of Framing” – explores how a unique frame helped to capture the beauty of a Raphael portrait, boosting its value immensely.

The piece also explains how frames are the Cinderella of the art world: they work hard, offer support and accommodate for the painting, but they are often undervalued.


Get Your Bespoke Frame Today

Are you inspired to make the most of your art piece with a beautiful bespoke frame? Visit our website today to learn more about what we can offer to help you present and preserve your art in an unforgettable way.