Exhibitions
Frame: Danish, 1891. Mahogany in rectangular monumental temple shape. Painting: Harald Slott-Møller, Danish Landscape, 1891.

Frame: Danish, 1891. Mahogany in rectangular monumental temple shape. Painting: Harald Slott-Møller, Danish Landscape, 1891.

Artists' frames 1880-1920

ARTISTS' FRAMES

Industrialisation (1850-1950) had consequences for framing, too, in that cheaper materials and machines slowly put the framemaker out of work.

Several artists reacted against technology and industry by choosing older frames, or by designing frames for their paintings themselves. The importance of the frame for the work of art was avidly discussed by artists.

Agnes Slott-Møller was one of the first to follow the example of foreign artist colleagues at the end of the 19th century by creating spectacular frames herself, allowing the story of the painting to continue over the frame.

Harald Slott-Møller and J.F. Willumsen soon followed suit and integrated painting and frame as in the Middle Ages (Room 212). For these artists, the frame was not merely an appendix or completion, but part of the symbolism of the work.

Frame: Italian Renaissance, middle of 16th century. Painting: Henri Matisse, Interior with a Violin, 1918. © Succession H. Matisse/billedkunst.dk

Frame: Italian Renaissance, middle of 16th century. Cassetta frame. Tryptich with stylised elements, like waves, fruit, etc. Corners heavily patinated in black by the artist. Gilded and carved. Painting: Henri Matisse, Interior with a Violin, 1918. © Succession H. Matisse/billedkunst.dk

Outside Denmark, the Impressionists began to re-use frames from the 17th and 18th centuries on their paintings; they were cheaper at that time.

At the beginning of the 20th century, Henri Matisse followed this trend and used 16th and 17th century frames – i.e. Renaissance and Baroque frames. They were purchased at second-hand shops by Matisse and his gallerist.

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