Frame

DATE:
c. 1740
MATERIAL AND TECHNIQUE:
Oak and gilding
CLASSIFICATION:
Furnishings
DIMENSIONS:
Overall: 18 3/4 x 17 3/4 x 4 in. (47.625 x 45.08 x 10.16 cm)
DEPARTMENT:
Decorative Arts and Design
LOCATION:
Wendy and Emery Reves Collection - Great Hall, Level 3
CREDIT LINE:
Dallas Museum of Art, The Wendy and Emery Reves Collection
COPYRIGHT:
Image courtesy Dallas Museum of Art
OBJECT NUMBER:
1985.R.378

General Description

This frame is finely carved with typical Louis XV period motifs of scrolls, shells, and frilled swags of naturalistic flowers. The quality of the carving on this small frame makes it one of the masterpieces in the Reves collection at the DMA. Yet its unusually squat proportions indicate that it might have been cut down from a larger frame. The sheer concentration of ornamental motifs and the heaviness of the frame suggest either that that it was made to house a small painting of unusual importance or that it was subtly re-created from the corners and the top and bottom centers of a larger frame. Whatever its origin, the frame is of great richness and must have enshrined a small work of art of real significance to its 18th-century owner. The scale of the ornamental carving is such that it would have overpowered even the greatest of drawings, and given the prominence of the top central cartouche, it is more likely that the frame was conceived--or reconfigured--to contain a portrait.

Adapted from

  • Dallas Museum of Art. The Wendy and Emery Reves Collection (Dallas, Texas: Dallas Museum of Art, 1985), 173.
  • Dallas Museum of Art. Decorative Arts Highlights from the Wendy and Emery Reves Collection. (Dallas, Texas: Dallas Museum of Art, 1995), 70.