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Construction[ edit ] The frame along with its mounts protects and often makes the art look better.
Art work framed well will stay in good condition for a long period of time. Many painters and photographers who work with canvas "gallery-wrap" their artwork, a practice wherein the image extends around the edges of the stretched canvas and therefore precludes use of a traditional picture frame, although a floater frame may be used.
As picture frames can be expensive when purchased new, some people remove the pictures from a frame and use the frame for other pictures. View of a frame-maker's workshop, oil on canvas, c Picture frames have traditionally been made of wood, which is still the most common material, although other materials are used including silverbronzealuminumand plastics such as polystyrene.
A picture frame may be of any color or texture, but gilding is common, especially on older wooden frames. Some picture frames have elaborate molding which may relate to the subject matter. Complicated older frames are often made of moulded and gilded plaster over a plain wood base.
Picture frames come in a variety of profiles, but generally the lengths of moulding feature a "lip" and rabbetthe function of which is to allow a space to hold in the materials in the frame.
The picture frame may contain a pane of picture framing glass or an acrylic glass substitute such as acrylite or plexiglas to protect the picture. In some instances where the art in the frame is dispensable or durable, no protection may be necessary.
Glass is common over watercolors and other artwork on paper, but rare over oil paintingsexcept very valuable ones in some museums. Picture framing glass may be treated with anti-reflective coatings to make the glass virtually invisible under certain lighting conditions.
When a picture frame is expected to be exposed to direct sunlightor harsh lighting conditions such as fluorescent lights, UV filtering may be added to slow down the photocatalytic degradation of organic materials behind picture framing glass.
The elaborate decoration on this frame may well be applied plaster pieces stuck to the wood beneath For pieces to be framed under glass, except for the most disposable and inexpensive posters or temporary displays, the glass must be raised off the surface of the paper.
This is done by means of mattinga lining of plastic "spacers", shadowboxingstacking two mouldings with the glass in between, and similar methods. If the paper or other media were to touch the glass directly, any condensation inside the glass would absorb directly into the art, having no room to evaporate.
This is harmful to almost any medium. It causes art sticking to the glass, mildew or mold spore growth, and other ill effects. Raising the glass is also necessary when a piece is done in a loose media such as charcoal or pastelto prevent smudging.
Care should be taken with these works however, if acrylic glass is used, as a static charge can build up which will attract the pigment particles off the paper.
Using real glass helps to prevent this. A passe-partout or mat can be put between the frame and picture. The passe-partout serves two purposes: Certain kinds of pieces do not usually need glass when framed, including paintings done in acrylic or oil paint the former is usually waterproof; the latter needs to breathe due to the decades-long drying processstained glass or tilesand laminated posters.
These kinds of pieces are still sometimes put under glass though, if for example they are framed using matsor in the case of oil paintings they are kept in a carefully climate-controlled environment.
The treatment of the back of the framed artwork varies widely, from usually nothing in the case of oils, to the frequent use of foam-core boards available in archival acid-free versions both in black and white and other backing boards to provide support, or backing paper  or "dust covers" to keep dust and insects out.
While these are almost invariably simply functional, there are some examples of works in which they have been decorated, with this being considered part of the artwork. The use of backing boards is common with watermedia and other art on paper.
Usually paper dust covers will be inexpensive craft paper or heavy duty archival papers. Shapes[ edit ] Picture frames are generally square or rectangular, though circular and oval frames are not uncommon. Frames in more unusual shapes such as football shapes, stars, hearts can be hand carved by a professional wood carver or carpenter or possibly molded out of wood pulp.
There are also picture frames designed to go around corners.
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A popular design is the scoop, an indent in the frame adding depth. One of the earliest frames was a discovery made in an Egyptian tomb dating back to 2nd century A. This finding suggests the mummy portraits may have been hung in the owners' homes prior to inclusion within the funerary equipment.
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