Italian Frames

Ornate, yet versatile,  Italian picture frames do not present a picture as a mere decoration on wall – they present it as an object unto itself – a shrine, an alter piece or personal icon. Despite their brash appearance however, Italian frames have always been required to live unobtrusively among furnishings of a period not their own. Carved out of the finest materials, these pictures can serve as the centerpiece to any space.

Italian Style Frames Gallery

Italian Style Frames

Italian Style Frames

The use of ornamental border to surround a picture dates well into antiquity. Examples may be found in such forms as early Greek Style, Roman frescoes and mosaics, Egyptian grave portraits of the Fayum period and later in illuminated medieval manuscripts.

The age of the Gothic, as it developed in Italy, saw the change of the concept of painting as strictly a wall decoration to that of the painting as an object in itself – a shrine, an altar piece or a personal icon. This was, in effect, the beginning of the picture frame as we know it today. Framemaking became an art form in itself.

The later advent of the more secular, easel painting brought on the gradual specializations of the painter and the framemaker, although into the 15th and 16th centuries, and later, painters would still be making their own frames or working closely with the frame craftsman.