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Origin of Framing - Part 2

Modern FramesThe first carved wooden frames, as we know them today, appeared much later in the 12th and 13th centuries in Europe. According to a historical series published in Picture Frame Magazine, these early "framed panel paintings" were made from one piece. The area to be painted was carved out, leaving a raised framing border around the outside edge, like a tray. The whole piece was then gessoed and gilded. Painting the image on the flat panel was the last thing to be done. " However, back then, producing a frame and image within a slab of wood was too costly, and a more efficient method to frame items was sought. The solution was to use mitred moulding strips. These strips were attached to a flat wooden panel, which produced a similar result to the carved panel, but was more cost effective.


Later, during the 14th and 15th centuries, frames were popular for their use in altarpieces in churches and were a large part of the church's architecture. This meant that they were mostly not able to be moved around. During this time, the Italian Renaissance saw the potential of art beyond churches. This was the beginning of movable frames. Only wealthy nobles, however, would bring art and frames into their estate.

It was between 1515 and 1547 when frames flourished as art did. Frames were built by furniture builders rather than by the artist, and became more common. Today, frames are affordable and seen everywhere! 



Diane Day (August 1998), "A Survey of Frame History, Part 1" (PDF). Picture Framing Magazine: 82, 84. Archived from the original (PDF) on October 28, 2006.

Church Hill Classics (October 2008). "The History of Frames" (blog). text=Frames%20have%20existed%20since%20the%20frames%20were%20handcrafted%20from%20wood.

[online] 2022. Picture frame-Wikipedia. [online] Picture frame,> [Accessed 14 July 2022].

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