The Art of the Picture Frame

The Art of the Picture Frame
Updated March 2017

This ongoing website feature arises out of the interest shown in the exhibition, The Art of the Picture Frame, held at the National Portrait Gallery from 8 November 1996 to 9 February 1997. It was launched in April 1998. It provides an update on the exhibition and gives information on current research.

Contributions are welcome on framing and reframing work at museums and galleries and on forthcoming publications and exhibitions, as are longer features on the history, technique and conservation of picture frames. Send to Jacob Simon, National Portrait Gallery, London WC2H 0HE or e-mail to

British picture framemakers, 1600-1950

Collection guides
A Guide to Picture Frames at Beningbrough Hall, Yorkshire
A Guide to Picture Frames at the Foundling Museum, London
A Guide to Picture Frames at Knole, Kent
Framing Italian Renaissance Paintings at the National Gallery, London - by Jacob Simon
Dresden Gallery Frames -- by Peter Schade

Artists and their frames
A note on Philip de Laszlo and picture framing -- by Lynn Roberts
Thomas Gainsborough and picture framing
Notes on the Frames in the Exhibition, Portraits by Ingres -- by Nicholas Penny
Thomas Lawrence and picture framing
A note on George Romney and picture framing
Framing references in Dante Gabriel Rossetti's Correspondence -- by Lynn Roberts
John Singer Sargent and picture framing
Raeburn's Rival, Archibald Skirving 1749-1819: a Review of the Frames -- by Laura Houliston
Whistler's Correspondence -- by Lynn Roberts

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