Messiah, by Alexander Kanevsky, is a bold work whose power emanates not only from the central figure appearing in a burst of energizing color but the viewer also feels the palpable emotions of the crowd below. The painting therefore requires a frame that matches its intensity.
In spite of the development of the mass-produced cast composition frames of the early 19th century, Italian sculptors continued to hand-carve fine frames in traditional or revival styles for those who could afford them with Florence being the epicenter for this work.
The cove of this frame is filled with a continuous deeply carved and undercut scrolling grape vine ornamented with various fruits. Vine leaves are a symbol of Christ and can be seen carved in stone onto many Gothic cathedrals. The scrolling vine motif was adopted from architectural prototypes such as the continuous ornamentation used on the frieze of classical entablatures. The motif was frequently used on frames during the Renaissance because of the significant symbolism and decorative potential. The scrolling vine could be incised, punched, or carved in high relief.
From the Renaissance styling and added elemental corners reminiscent of tabernacle frames to the scrolling vine leaves representing Christ, this is a perfect example of how frames and art can complement each other and how deliberate ornamentation of a frame can amplify powerful imagery.
To find out how Lowy can customize a frame for your painting, or for more information on the 5000 antique frames in Lowy’s current inventory, visit www.lowyonline.com or call 212-861-8585.