A photo frame is one of the most beautiful pieces of art, which traces its origin to ancient artists and sculptors. While the earlier frames were used to beautify wall paintings, by carving out the area that was to be painted, it is common to find family photographs or other pictures being adorned by their modern counterparts. Picture frames, today, contain elaborate paintings and photographs and are used to adorn the walls of the house. They are also commonly found at painting exhibitions and other artistic events. The article dwells at length on the origin and background of photo frame. Read on to know its fascinating history.
Interesting & Amazing Information On Origin & Background Of Picture Frames
While the exact origin of photo frames is unknown, one of the earliest examples of a frame appeared with the discovery made in an Egyptian tomb, which dated back to 2nd century AD. The discovery unearthed a fayum mummy portrait within a wooden frame, at Hawara. Apparently, the mummy portrait might have been hung in the owner’s house before it was demolished in due course of time. According to Marilyn Murdoch, frame historian and installation expert, it was highly likely that the desert climate preserved the portrait and its frame.
In the ancient times, the Greek and Egyptian artists used framing borders to partition scenes and ornamentation in wall paintings and pottery work. However, the first known carved wooden frames were seen in small panel paintings in Europe, during the 12th and 13th centuries. These frames were made from a single piece of wood, which was a rather costly method. Soon, mitered molding strips began to be used for making wooden frames, which proved to be a more efficient and cost-effective method. The strips were attached to a flat wooden panel and this type of frame was known as “engaged frame”.
The advent of portable or movable frames was marked with the renaissance in Italy (this was during the 14th and 15th centuries). This was the time when apart from the church, wealthy nobles also began to patronize art, which contributed to its rise. Allegorical, devotional and portrait paintings were commissioned by rich men, which brought art and frames into their estates. Art, along with picture frames, thrived in France under the reign of Francis I, the first Renaissance monarch of France from 1515-1547. Leonardo da Vinci also moved into France at this time. Now, the frames were designed by the furniture builders, instead of artists or sculptors.
From 1610 to 1643, the frame profiles became more slender than what the Italian predecessors used to make. Continuous designs appeared on the frames, such as egg and dart, ribbon and flow of leaves, and pronounced corner designs. This paved the way for the appearance of Baroque designs in picture frame. While the traditional picture frames were made of wood, which is still the most common material used for making them, other materials such as aluminum, plastics or polystyrene, even seashells are being used to make the modern photo frames. Some photo frames also carry elaborate moldings relating to the subject matter. Even today, the popularity of picture frames continues to grow.