Italian Renaissance Frames at the V&A

Italian Renaissance Frames at the V&A

Christine Powell

Language: English

Pages: 224

ISBN: 0750686197

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub


This visually stunning and technically detailed book is an in-depth analysis of the materials and techniques used on thirty eight of the V&A's Renaissance frames. The book will teach the reader to recognise frame style, structure and surface decoration of the period, as well as additions and alterations and later frames in the style.  

* First detailed technical analysis of the V&A's most important Renaissance frames

* Highly illustrated with 100 + colour photos of front back and details, digital reconstructions, section profiles, and illustrations of frame types, joints and mouldings. 

* Provides a comparative reference for Renaissance frames in other publications

Christine Powell has worked at the V&A since 1993. She is a Senior Furniture Conservator specialising in gilt wood European Furniture, mirror and picture frames.  She has also worked at The National Gallery London for seven years as conservator working on European painted and gilt wood altarpieces and frames and The Wallace Collection for two years on European gilt wood frames and furniture. She has taught and published articles on the history, materials techniques and conservation of gilding. Christine studied furniture making and restoration of furniture at the London College of Furniture (latterly the Metropolitan University) including wood finishing, carving and gilding. Before this she worked in private practice for furniture restoration and special paint effects firms. She also attended Epsom School of Art and Design.

Zoë Allen first joined the V&A in 2000 to work on gilt wooden objects for the British Galleries and returned to the V&A in 2003 where she has worked since as Frames and Gilded Furniture Conservator. Before joining the V&A full time she worked as a conservator for both public institutions, such as English Heritage, and private practices including projects at the Royal Academy, St Paul’s Cathedral and Somerset House. Zoë has published articles on her work. After a first degree in French Literature, Zoë studied conservation at the City & Guilds of London Art School. Her training covered the conservation of objects made from wood, stone and other sculptural materials, gilding and decorative surfaces. Internships included the National Institute for Restoration, Croatia, the Royal Collection, London and the Museum of London.

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Sacra, 1964. pp. 161–162. 39 2 C A R V E D , PA I N T E D A N D WAT E R GILDED TWO SIDED PROCESSIONAL TA B E R N A C L E F R A M E W I T H L U N E T T E AND ANTEPENDIUM A Italy, early sixteenth century The panel painting depicts the Virgin and Child with God the Father in the lunette and on the reverse St Anthony Abbot with St Paul the Hermit and St Anthony in the Desert in the lunette Bought for the frame in 1869 for £12 594-1869 (Paintings, Drawings and Prints Collection) A 416 mm A

(PLM) and found to contain highly nised as a red clay such as terra rossa. birefringent, coarse blue particles showing bright The ground in this sample contained mainly gyp- polarisation colours, with a refractive index (n) sum with some particles of chalk. greater than 1.66. These particles were recognised as azurite. The layer also contained charcoal, chalk and red ochre and some clay, which was possibly part of the natural red ochre. SAMPLE 2 Beige paint (taken from centre of top leaf

sides, which are rounded The frame is made from walnut and lime or at the backs. Between the extended corners at the poplar – the back frame is thought to be walnut. bottom of the frame, the wood is bare. The back frame is made of two, vertical members that are half lapped over the two, horizontal There are small carving losses and several areas of members. On the back edges, there are strips of severe wood-boring beetle damage. wood that increase the width of the frame. It can be seen

chalk in this sample; it is mainly gypsum. 15 phe 20.23 ala thre val lys 22.37 ilue 13.43 stearat azelate 11.51 palmitate 34.09 30.70 10 1441.8– 1404.4– 10 15 1620.1– Figure 19.3 26.40 28.17 20 Time (min) 25 GC-MS chromatogram for sample 10-1890. 1098.5 665.6 – 3398.6 3521.6 23.90 15.24 0 1682.2– 2887.9 2726.1 2349.5 2264.9 2230.1 2140.3 1984.0– 5 108.36 %T gypsum GCMS ANALYSIS Peaks for the fatty acids were present but small (Figure 19.3), indicating that the

It is also possible that they kept a supply of example the small relief with Eve on the base, that the separate elements needed to make the frames, was originally part of a triptych Frame 9 (6867- such as lengths of uncarved mouldings and a selec- 1860), probably belonged to a woman who would tion of moulds for ornamental cast work. have used it in her devotional practice at home or perhaps when travelling. In addition to prompting Research has suggested a close relationship devotion,

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