Frames Glossary

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This entry is a Draft


Name Description Image
Architectural See Kentian Image
Auricular A frame with forms resembling ears and earlobes. These frames were highly stylized free-flowing interpretations of organic forms, usually animal or marine in nature. Auricular Frame Style.png
Bolection A frame type, introduced in the late 17th century, with a distinctly shaped convex or ogee molding of reverse section curving up from the picture and back to the wall. This frame may or may not have a liner. Image
Cassetta A frame comprising a simple, lap-jointed back frame and entablature-derived moldings. Cassetta is the Italian word for architrave. Image
Cove Profile Also called a scoop, a neo-classical expression popular around 1700-1800. May include carved or compo courses highlighting inner or outer edges. Image
Cushion A frame of flattish rounded or convex section, usually only two to two and a half inches wide. They could feature carved reliefs often in the clasped leaf and tulip motifs. Other common patterns are a waving pattern of twisted leaves and beads on a string. Image
Italian Style For the purposes of this glossary, the two styles of frames are Salvator Rosa and Maratta. Image
Salvator Rosa An Italian frame associated with the 17th century artist Salvator Rosa. The frame’s profile is a central scotia bordered by an astragal at the front outer edge and a narrow molding at the inner edge. Part of the ornament is applied to the profile rather than carved from it. The cove is undecorated. Decorative features include tongues, acanthus leaves, flutes and beading. Image
Maratta A frame that has a deep front hollow and a prominent outward curving top edge undercut by a back hollow. The inner cove has a continuous design. Decorative features often seen are tongues, acanthus leaves, and sometimes gadroons and shells. An Italian styled frame that gained popularity in Britain and was widely used during the period of 1750-1790. It received its namesake from its association with artist Carlo Maratta. Image
Kentian Also referred to as architectural frames. Popular from 1720-1760, the Kentian frame references architectural features and decoration, though is usually restricted to the features of the architrave. It often has projecting square corners, flat frieze decorations (with sand or an architectural motif), and raised and carved outer edges. This type is derived from the Renaissance’s Tabernacle frame. Image
Neoclassical A frame with designs and features that harken back to the time of antiquity, particularly that of ancient Rome. They could reference architectural elements, and generally were thinner, simpler in profile (coves popular), and restrained in ornament.

Early Neoclassicism: These frames often had features such as a fluted frieze, paterae corners and waterleaf top edge. The profiles tended to be shallow. Some closely resembled Maratta Style frames. Some were fairly plain and had minimal embellishment. Late Neoclassicism: These frames were categorized by deeper profiles and bolder taste. They could have extensive ornamentation, aided by the use of pressed composition ornament. The moldings were often wider and heavier. Older frames were sometimes remodeled to fit the neoclassical style. In France, the anthemion and lotus motifs were popular, but they were not widely used in England.||Image

Reverse A frame with its highest molding on the sight edge. Image
Rococo Including but not exclusive to swept frames. These often have swept sides (see sweep). They could be very elaborate. Common elements include C-scroll corners and ogee-sections. Those made in France by French Huguenot craftsmen are often more organic, sculptural and three dimensional than the Rococo frames of England. English frames are more linear and have arrangements of flowers and leaves. Image
Scoop A frame with a front concave section as the main form of decoration. Image
Swept See Rococo. 18th century term. Overall curvilinear design “S” and “C” scrolls. Image
Tondo A frame with circular sight and back edges. Image