Picasso’s Frame Preference

Most art enthusiasts know that Pablo Picasso revolutionized the painted image, inaugurated Modernism and created a taste for geometric forms, bright colors and bold lines. True devotees are familiar with the artist’s preference for antique frames.

Picasso thought deeply about the frames for his pictures, preferring the antique Spanish variety to numerous contemporary alternatives. Most often these antique wooden frames are carved and sculptural, with compositions that blend ancient curvilinear and geometric shapes such as rosettes, interlocking leaf patterns and ridged seams. They are an enticing finish rather than an enclosing box.

This framed Picasso portrait shows how the artist liked to see his work displayed.

Picasso’s preference for antique frames should not surprise us, for he was a truly multidimensional artist also known for the wide range of his artistic pursuits. Outside of painting and sculpture, his projects include four complete production designs for the Ballets Russes, designs for menus and advertisements, and book illustrations for a number of his literary friends.

Any favorite Picasso frames? Tell us in the comments!


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