This week’s featured frame is a rare 18th-century carved and gilt Louis XIV frame. Sumptuous and ornate, the frame reflects the aesthetics of Louis XIV, the flamboyant monarch who took the French throne in 1643.
Beginning in the 17th-century, France was the epicenter of the art world, influencing framing styles as well as artistic output. Heralded as the golden age of frame-making in Europe, the French court determined not only all manners of style and art, but also the decorative elements and shapes of frames. Establishing the aesthetics of French frames were the succession of Louis, kings who ruled France for over one hundred years. Created by French master frame-makers who belonged to exclusive guilds of carpenters and cabinetmakers, frames during this period are often regarded as some of the most exquisite in the world.
Throughout his reign from 1643 until 1715, Louis XIV adored excessive and luxurious surroundings, which also affected the styles of frames. Illustrating his love for lavish settings, Louis XIV headquartered his court at the decadent Versailles, a gilded architectural masterpieces, containing some of the same opulence as seen in Louis XIV frames.
Detailed, bold and filled with organic ornamentation, frames of this period often include representations of fleur-de-lis and sunflowers in homage to Louis XIV and his nickname, the Sun King.
For more information on our 18th-century French frames and any of the 5000 frames in Lowy’s collection, please visit www.lowyonline.com or call 212-861-8585.