Régence and Rococo
Régence is a transition style between Baroque and Rococo. The Régence frame is characterised by the economic lines of Baroque, combined with flowing outer edges, opulent corner ornamentation and intertwined vegetation.
The frame on the French princess, daughter of Louis XV, has great depth and is built up in several layers. It is a fine example of the sophisticated carving and gilding of the period.
When the gilding was new, the frame revealed great contrasts between shiny and mat surfaces, light and shadow. This is due to the frame being prepared with water-gilding, which can be polished like a mirror. It is also the most difficult technique to employ with gold leaf – far more difficult than oil-based gilding, which has a silky surface.
Towards the time of the French Revolution in 1789, the craft of gilding attained its culmination in France. There was immoderate extravagance in the elite’s interior furnishing. This prodigality opened the way for new creations, which also reached Denmark.
Rococo gold frames have elegant, slim mouldings, with flowing inner and outer contours interrupted by opulent ornamentation. They dance lightly across the wall like a piece by Mozart, with a wealth of fine details like rocaille shell-work and the scrolling forms of volutes.
The small Danish Rococo frame surrounding the happy little boy has the flowing lines of Rococo, and is also crowned by a pretty swag of flowers at the top of what is called the cartouche. This is also the place for coats of arms, monograms, inscriptions and other important symbols.