The Gallery holds the most extensive collection of portraits in the world. Search over 215,000 works, 150,000 of which are illustrated from the 16th Century to the present day.

Advanced Collection search

Annotated Bibliography of Frame Publications, 1995 to 2018 Technique and conservation

See also COLLECTIONS under London, Victoria and Albert Museum

Ablett, Annie, three articles in The Picture Restorer: ‘The Frame: Its Purpose to Protect', no.17, Spring 2000, pp.13-16 and no.18, Autumn 2000, pp.9-11; ‘The Frame: Its Purpose to Enhance', no.21, Spring 2002, pp.9-12. On problems in conserving historic frames and in maintaining their ornamental appearance in relationship to the painting.

Battison, Clair, '"Natural Born Quillers" - conservation of paper quills on the Sarah Siddons plaque frame', V&A Conservation Journal, no.27, April 1998, pp.8-10.

Baya, Hubert, 'Gilding in the Dutch Golden Age', Painting Techniques. History, Materials and Studio Practice. Summaries of the Posters at the Dublin Congress, 7-11 September 1998, International Institute for Conservation, 1998, unpaginated. A one-page review of research into a distinctive gilding technique used on some Dutch frames in the second half of the 17th century.

Child, Robert, ‘ Woodworm in Picture Frames', The Picture Restorer, no.22, Autumn 2002, pp.14-15.

English Heritage, Gilding: Approaches to Treatment. A joint conference of English Heritage and the United Kingdom Institute for Conservation, 27-28 September 2000, English Heritage, 2001, 84 pp, 66 illustrations. With essays by Louisa Davey on framing at the National Gallery, Sarah Staniforth on frame conservation in National Trust houses, and John Anderson on framing solutions at the Tate Gallery.

Falck-Therkelsen, Solveig, 'The Restoration of Seven Watts Frames at the Tate Gallery', Conservation News. The Official Newsletter of UKIC, no.65, March 1998, pp.34-6.

Johnson, Alastair, Restoring a Pre-Raphaelite frame, The Frame Blog, 10 September 2012. On the conservation of the frame on Edward Burne-Jones’s King Cophetua and the Beggar Maid (1884).

Johnson, Alastair, ‘Re-altering the glazing alterations of a Burne-Jones frame’, in Gerry Alabone, ed., Conserving Context: Relating Object Treatment to Collections and Settings, 2014, pp.69-81, 10 illustrations. On the restoration of the original appearance of the frame of Burne-Jones’s King Cophetua and the Beggar Maid (Tate).

Johnson, Alastair, ‘Restoring pressed-composition ornament to the frame around Arthur Melville’s Audrey and her Goats’, Journal of the British Association of Paintings Conservator-Restorers, no.51, autumn 2017, pp.20-5.

Keith, Larry, Ashok Roy, Rachel Morrison and Peter Schade, ‘Leonardo da Vinci’s Virgin of the Rocks: Treatment, Technique and Display’, in National Gallery Technical Bulletin, vol.32, 2011, pp.49-54, available online at With a section on reframing Leonardo da Vinci’s Virgin of the Rocks, using elements from a 16th-century all’antica tabernacle frame to replace a 19th-century frame. To complete the frame, it was necessary to make a base, spandrels and inner edge to add to the old elements of the pilasters and cornice, the ornaments of which were in a thick paste rather than carved. The carpentry and carving work pf the new parts was carried out by Peter Schade and the gilding by Adriano Lorenzelli and Isabella Kocum. An altarpiece by Giacomo del Maino, after 1495, provided a guide for recreating the frame’s missing elements.

Kirsh, Andrea, and Rustin S. Levenson, ‘On Framing', in chapter 6, ‘Beyond the Painting,' in Seeing through Paintings: physical examination in art historical studies, Yale University Press, 2000, pp.246-53, 8 illustrations. A summary of the genesis and design of simple engaged and polyptych frames, jumping to a brief discussion of the artist's involvement in frame design during the 19th and 20th centuries, and to questions of reframing by collectors or by museums. With a short bibliography on the history, technical approach to and philosophical consideration of the frame.

McClure, Ian, 'The Framing of Wooden Panels', in Kathleen Dardes and Andrea Rothe (eds), The Structural Conservation of Panel Paintings, proceedings of a symposium at the J. Paul Getty Museum, 1995, The Getty Conservation Institute, Los Angeles, 1998, pp.433-47. A profusely illustrated volume, well-organised but for the lack of an index, surveying the history of panel making in Europe, as well as current and past conservation practices. McClure's is the key essay on the problems encountered in the framing of panels but there are useful contributions by other authors on pp.129, 272 and 349 and by Wadum (see BY COUNTRY: FLEMISH in this bibliography.

Marsland-Boyer, Victoria and Adriano Lorenzelli, 'The Picture Frame in Context and the Art of Gilding' in Philippa Vaughan (ed.), The Victoria Memorial Hall, Calcutta: Conception, Collections, Conservation, Marg Publishing, Mumbai, India, 1997. A study of the conservation of frames on British pictures at the Victoria Memorial Hall, reproducing seven frames dating from the mid-18th to the mid-19th century.

Moore, Adrian, ‘The Framing of the Turner Squares as a Set’, The Picture Restorer, no. 46, 2015, pp. 8-11, detailing the research and clever construction behind a project to reframe a set of ‘Turner Squares at Tate. It is worth adding that historical documentation is not as thin as thought, at least in the case of Turner’s Angel standing in the Sun, for which see Robert Sielle, ‘The Art of Framing’, The Artist, vol. 41, no.2, April 1951.

Morrison, Keith, A new Raeburn at the Scottish National Portrait Gallery: The Frame, National Galleries of Scotland blog, 2 December 2014. On the restoration of the frame of Sir Henry Raeburn’s full-length Lady Montgomery, 1816. This pattern is found on several Raeburns of the period and can be attributed to Alex Thompson of Edinburgh.

Powell, Christine, 'Some French and English Gilding Techniques: The making and gilding of an 18th century English-style mirror frame with tooled gesso work', SSCR Journal, The Quarterly News Magazine of the Scottish Society for Conservation and Restoration, vol.9, no.4, 1998, pp.5-14. A detailed study comparing modern French gilding techniques, as used in making a mirror frame, to Watin and other 17th and 18th-century publications on gilding.

Rose, Jenny, 'An Investigation into the Domestic Care of Paintings in English Country Houses in the Eighteenth and Nineteenth Centuries', in Christine Sitwell and Sarah Staniforth (eds), Studies in the History of Paintings Restoration, Archetype Publications, London, 1998, pp.139-80. Including references to the care of picture frames in domestic and artistic manuals of the period.

Sawicki, Malgorzata, 'Picture Frame Conservation or... Repairing?' AICCM (Inc) Bulletin, Australian Institute for the Conservation of Cultural Materials (Inc), vol.20, no.2, 1995, pp.17-25. Philosophical issues are discussed relating to three case studies: the conservation of the frame of Chaucer at the court of Edward III by Ford Madox Brown, exhibited 1851, the restoration of the frame of Summertime by Rupert Bunny, exhibited 1907, and the reproduction of a frame for Diogenes by John Waterhouse, 1882.

Sawicki, Malgorzata,‘The Visit of the Queen of Sheba to King Solomon by Edward Poynter, 1884-1890. The frame revisited', AICCM (Inc) Bulletin, vol.22, 1997-8. A detailed discussion of the conservation of a gilded frame for a very large work by Poynter, including the identification and removal of over-painting, and in-gilding and in-painting experiments using non-traditional gilding techniques.

Schmuecker, Emma, ‘The use and identification of traditional techniques and materials for the conservation and restoration of picture frames', The Picture Restorer, no.21, Spring 2002, pp.13-17, 5 figures. On the conflicts inherent in stabilizing a frame without irreversibly altering its construction, appearance or evidence of its history, describing the various materials traditionally used in the decoration of frames.

Stoner, Joyce Hill, ‘Whistler's views on the restoration and display of his paintings,' Studies in Conservation, vol.42, 1997, pp.107-14, 6 illustrations. On Whistler's techniques and the effects he wished to achieve, including a brief section on his approach to framing; while not new, this does list those frames gilded and sometimes painted directly on the wood, and which have not been subsequently regilded.

Thistlewood, Jevon, Restoring a Grinling Gibbons frame, The Frame Blog, 14 May 2015. Describing how Timothy Newbery restored the extraordinarily delicate and attributive frame by Grinling Gibbons on John Riley’s Elias Ashmole, 1683, to its original appearance by removing later gilding to reveal the original lime wood.

Wilkinson, Jane, ‘Making Mrs Soane’s Morning Room “permanently magical”’ in Gerry Alabone, ed., Conserving Context: Relating Object Treatment to Collections and Settings, 2014, pp. 89-100, 14 illustrations. On conservation work in progress in Mrs Soane’s Morning Room at Sir John Soane’s Museum and in particular on the conservation philosophy and on the cleaning of several important gilt picture frames.