click to enlarge

Comparative Diagram 1 - Inside border - pattern elements - motif - acanthus leaf.
Click here to see an enlargement)

This morning I got up determined to continue with the work laid out on the previous page, that is to collect samples of inside border details. This work is a bit tedious it means finding a high resolution image of a pictureframe on the internet, then resizing it and cutting out a good example of the acanthus leaf pattern, I decided to add more information with the sample images, this doubles the work but makes later comparative work much simpler. I created a blank sheet of a size that I could easily show here and started filling it with my samples which resulted in the diagram above. As you can see almost all the samples conform to the same pattern. This pattern has been the standard since the frames of Louis XIV at least, but seems to suddenly petter out as the frames change styles and move towards Neoclassical designs. The frames that accompany Fragonard's paintings appear to show this progression, the last acanthus pattern on the inside border is found on the frame of a painting dated as 1765-1768 and even this is a highly stylized variant.

click to enlarge

Comparative Diagram 2 - Inside border - pattern elements - motif- acanthus leaf.
Click here to see an enlargement)

Once I had my sheet full I set it next to yesterdays sheet and started looking for any matches, sure enough there were two samples that seem to share a lot in common. You probably spotted them yourselves in the diagram above and I show them further in Comparative Diagram 3 below.

match in patterns

Comparative Diagram 3 - Matching - pattern elements - motif- acanthus leaf.

I then had to shuffle back through my enlarged paintings to find which paintings these were, This is when I received a wonderful reward for my efforts... at first glance I thought these frames were identical. You are bound to ask why I didn't notice this earlier, well it was mainly due to looking at only partial frames for enlargements, and I suppose the fact that a lot of these frames look the same. This was however amazing, and proof to me at least that we will be able to identify framemakers by a specialized comparative study of their decorative detailing.

match in patterns

Comparative Diagram 4 - Matching Louis XV frames (pictures from the Site officiel du musée du Louvre.).

In the picture below I show an enlargement of a flower detail from each frame. We can easily imagine that this is the work of one particular craftsman, the question is whether these frames were made twelve years apart? When we find another frame like these ones we will be a lot closer to knowing exactly when these frames were made.


Click here to see the next page...

Click here to return to the previous page.

Click here to return to the homepage

created by L. A. Miller in collaboration with Jean Duday.


Valid HTML 4.01 Transitional