Cadres Lebrun houses a collection of more than three thousand antique frames, here is a selection of pieces from the 15th to the 20th century.
A brief history of frames
The Primitive paintings from the 13th and 14th centuries are framed by a piece of wood that remains part of the decorated panel. The first frames made independently of their subject date from the 15th century and their function is mainly to protect the piece of art. The few examples to be found from that time are usually simple and sober.
The Italian craftsmen at the very beginning of the 16th century become particularly creative concerning frames. The profiles expand and are decorated in abundance with carved or trompe-l'oeuil motives, with foliages, flowers and fruits. The sculpture releases itself and grows rich.
The 17th century sees the development of the art of frame in Europe. In The Netherland, country of fine materials and austerity of the shapes, the craftsman use ebony, red, green or yellow turtle scale, inlays of mother-of-pearl. Spain, very inspired by the Italians, develops powerful carving and very sophisticated cassetta models.
In France we find very beautiful Louis XIII frames, often excessively rich and abundant. The carvers and gilders show a new creativity. The style Louis XIV is the one of the mastered refinement, the fineness of decorations, names like Jean Berain (1640-1711) or Cesar Bagard (1620-1709) have left a beautiful testimony of that period. The Regency and Louis XV styles see the reign of the curve, volute or acanthus leaf, motives of foliage, shells and palmettes or garlands of flowers. The Rococo!
The end of 18th century will be a return to simplicity of the forms and the rigor of lines. The style Louis XVI cuts with the previous years. Some French maîtres-sculpteurs will leave at that time beautiful stamps as Cherin, Pepin and Infroit.
Early in the the 19th century techniques evolve: the ornamentation is now made of plaster and the ornamentation borrows patterns from the past.
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