This week’s featured frame is an extremely rare 18th-century French Louis XV carved and gilt double sweep frame. Illustrating the lavish Rococo-style of Louis XV’s reign, Lowy recently loaned this exceptional frame to Christie’s New York for last week’s 19th-century European Art sale.
An extremely rare 18th-century French Louis XV carved and gilt double sweep frame
Like last week’s featured Louis XIV frame, the extraordinary Louis XV frame continues the lineage of one of the most dynamic periods of French frame-making during the reign of the Louis, a succession of kings who influenced aesthetics as well as politics. Following the death of his great grandfather, Louis XIV, in 1715, the young 5-year old Louis XV did not ascend to the throne until 1722 at age 13 when he ushered in a new aesthetic: the Rococo style.
After the Regence period during the short reign of Philippe II, Duc d’Orleans, the new vision of Louis XV, also known as Louis the Well-Beloved, dominated the style of French frames. Embraced by artists and artisans alike, the Rococo style embodied a vibrant sense of movement and liveliness in the sweeps and curves of the frames.
With the influx of decorative panel, corner and center ornaments, framers producing Rococo-style frames developed a new pricing system, charging separate fees for decorations. Due to the lavish and opulent ornamentation of Louis XV frames, prices were often extremely high.
Raimundo de Madrazo y Garreta, Portrait of a Lady, oil on panel
(Courtesy of Christie’s New York)
During last week’s 19th-century European Art sale at Christie’s New York, this rare frame was paired with Raimundo de Madrazo y Garreta’s Portrait of a Lady. Its decorative movements both reflect and augment the tactile folds and textures of the subject’s clothing, demonstrating the impact and importance a frame can have on the overall effect of the painting.
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.