Annotated Bibliography of Frame Publications,
1995 to 2011
By country: Spain

See also COLLECTIONS, Madrid, Museo Sorolla

Aterido, Ángel, Diego Blanca and José Juan Pérez Preciado, ‘Los marcos de las pinturas de la Granja de San Ildefonso’, in Inventarios Reales: Colecciones de pinturas de Felipe V e Isabel Farnesio, by Ángel Aterido, Juan Martínez Cuesta and José Juan Pérez Preciado, 2 vols, 2004. This substantial and well-informed work treats the collections of Philip V, King of Spain (1683-1746) and his consort, Elizabeth Farnese (1692-1766), mainly at the palace of La Granja de San Ildefonso, near Segovia. There is an extended essay on the frames, vol.1, pp.367-426, with 46 excellent illustrations and line drawings, with further illustrations scattered through the text, and an index of frame descriptions in the 1746 inventory, vol.2, pp.571-4. The essay contains sections on the 17th century and the role of Velazquez in arranging, choosing and perhaps designing frames at the Alcázar in the 1640s and 1650s, and on the 18th century, in particular the reign of Philip V and framing for La Granja.

The main focus is a typological study of the frames recorded in the San Ildefonso inventories, arranged by overlapping types: Marcos dorados lisos (plain gilt moulding frames, some of Maratta profile), Marcos de peral dados de negro (black pearwood frames, in the section on black frames, some with gilt sight edges), Marco dorado cincelado (gilt frames with engraved ornamental patterns), Marco dorado, bronceado, tallado de relieve, y me[di]o relieve (carved and gilt burnished frames, mainly running patterns or with repeated leaf motifs), Marcos dorados con targetas a las Esquinas (gilt frames with corner ornaments, several types), Marcos dorados con dos órdenes de talla, y targetas a las Esquinas de medio relievo (gilt frames with two rows of carving and mid-relief corners), Marcos dorados de órdones de talla (Salvator Rosa or Maratta carved and gilt frames) and a final short section on other frames.

The impact of overseas models is highlighted in the book. To take some examples of carved and gilt burnished frames, Luca Giordano’s Adoration of the Magi, 1683/8 (fig.262), has a French inspired frame which is basically a Louis XIII running pattern with a top cushion of leaves and berries reversing at flower centres, while Paolo de Matheis’s San Antonio de Padua (figs 263, 264) is housed in an Italianate frame of reverse section with large leaves set across the moulding. Of particular interest, Giovanni Maria delle Piane (‘Molinaretto’)’s Carlos de Borbón, Duke of Parma (figs 243, 269), has a very fine running pattern of scrolls, flowers and formalised shell-like motifs set against a chequered ground, topped by a magnificent armorial trophy. This frame is signed and dated 1732 on the reverse by the Florentine framemaker, Giovanni Antonio Noferi. The frame was then copied in Spain the following year for Domenico Maria Sani’s portrait of the Duke’s sister, Infante Marianna Victoria, Princess of Brazil (figs 270-1).

García
, Francisco Herrera, ‘En los Márgenes del Cuadro: El Marco en la Sevilla Barroca', pp.109-27, in Domingo Martínez: en la Estela de Murillo, exh. cat., Centro Cultural el Monte, Seville, 2004. On picture frames in the Baroque style in Seville from the late sixteenth to the mid-eighteenth century, with 10 illustrations; there are other colour illustrations of framed paintings distributed through the catalogue. The essay applies a quotation from Ortega y Gasset's meditation on frames, that a painting without a frame is like a man despoiled of his clothes, to some of the most striking examples of Baroque carving in Seville; it includes details of some carvers and gilders, notably Jose Fernando Medinilla, and the price of their work. The catalogue also contains a 1751 inventory of Martínez's possessions, including frames.

Pérez-Hita, Horacio, La colección Alorda-Derksen: Marcos de los siglos XVI-XVIII [The Collection Alorda-Derksen: frames from 16th-18th centuries], Barcelona and London, Spanish and English text, 2006, 275pp, 116 catalogue entries, illustrated throughout. This publication is devoted to the Manuel Alorda and Hanneke Derksen collection of empty frames. It is divided into chapters devoted to cassetta frames, the Herrera style, Italy in the 16th and 17th centuries, Spain in the 17th century, ‘Materials and polychromy’, devoted to ebony, ripple, tortoiseshell and hardstone frames, and Spanish 18th-century frames.

Tiemblo, María Pía Timón, Coleccion Cano de P.E.A., El Marco Espanol en la Historia del Arte. The Spanish Frame in the History of Art, P.E.A., S.A., Madrid, no date, 1998 or 1999, 109pp, 85 colour illustrations, 46 frame sections. A useful well-illustrated survey of Spanish frames, published by the Madrid frame firm P.E.A. in Spanish with an English translation, and based on the collection of the Cano frame workshop, founded in 1907 and acquired by P.E.A. in 1994. The introduction reproduces eight frames made by the Cano workshops for the Prado museum including those on works by Raphael, Titian, Velazquez, Zurburan and Goya. A short section of illustrations reproducing decorative techniques is followed by corner details and sections of 46 frames in current production, ranging from mediaeval to 19th-century models.

Timón Tiemblo, María Pía, El marco en España: del mundo romano al inicio del modernismo, Humanes, Publicaciones Europeas de Arte, Madrid, 2002, 394pp, numerous illustrations, documentary appendices, glossary and bibliography, but regrettably no index. Many of the illustrations show frames held by, or made by, the Cano business and its successor, P.E.A., Madrid. While good for illustrating frame types, these frames are usually without an association with a particular picture and hence lack an historical context. Other illustrations are variable, ranging from the superb to the somewhat disappointing.

This book forms a substantial and commendable survey of Spanish frames. It includes introductory chapters explaining technical matters and nomenclature in very helpful detail. The main body of the book provides a chronological survey from the Romanesque to Modernism, with much in between. Given this vast range, the treatment is uneven with limited attention given to the 19th century and an account for the 18th century which does not really do justice to the wealth of frame making in Spain at the time. Instead, the focus is on earlier periods, especially the 17th century where two sections stand out as particularly useful. Firstly, that devoted to frames ornamented with gadroons (‘gallones’), sometimes called Herrera frames (pp.221-33); these frames are of ‘cassetta’ section and sometimes also include diamond shapes (‘puntas de diamante’). Secondly, that given over to frames carved with leaves and flowers, often described as ‘carnosa’, i.e. ‘fleshy’, which relate to the auricular (pp.234-51); these classic Spanish frames are often of reverse section, whether flat or curved in profile.

Timón Tiemblo, María Pía (editor), El marco en España: historia, conservación y restauración, 2009, Ministerio de Cultura, Madrid, 88pp, published online to accompany a course organised by the Instituto del Patrimonio Cultural de España, available at www.calameo.com/books/00007533528de6be40bee . With seven articles: the frames for Zubaran’s paintings in the sacristy of the monastery of Guadelupe (by Maria Pia Timón Tiemblo), a summary listing of frames at the Thyssen-Bornemisza Collection in Madrid (by Marta Palao and Susana Perez), and other historical and conservation articles.

Tiemblo, María Pía Timón, El marco en España: del mundo romano al inicio del modernismo, Humanes, Publicaciones Europeas de Arte, Madrid, 2002, 394pp. A substantial illustrated survey of Spanish frames, albeit with rather inadequate illustrations.