This week’s featured frame is a Watts-style English composition frame. Working during the second half of the 19th century, G.F. Watts (1817-1904) was an artist associated with the Symbolist and Pre-Raphaelite painting movements. He is known for his massive mythological works and his emotive and unique portraits, as well as the signature frame he used to contain them.
Watts’ frames feature a cassetta structure with gilt oak-veneered panels and applied rosettes. Sometimes punchwork or thin leaf patterns are used in the panels or moldings, but the overall layout is fixed. Because the gold is applied to the wood directly without gesso, the panel’s surface is less shiny and more textured than the composition frames that were frequently used at the time. In this and in the design’s delicate patterning, Watts’ frames show the Arts and Crafts movement’s influence through their celebration of natural forms. In fact, one of Watts’ frame in particular was produced to surround the artist’s portrait of William Morris, a renowned textile designer and artist who became one of the Arts and Crafts movement’s guiding forces.
For more information on Lowy’s collection of cassetta frames, Watts-style frames, or other pieces in our 5,000-frame inventory, please visit www.lowyonline.com or call 212-861-8585.