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The frame around a work of art is the finishing touch, the element that completes and elevates a painting, presenting it to the viewer in its best possible light.

I thought you might be interested to know how I go about.

Here are five key questions and some pictures to visualize what I am talking about.

1. Do you need a frame?

I’ll let you in on a secret: Not every work of art needs to be framed. For contemporary gallery-wrapped paintings, framing is completely optional. The term gallery wrap refers to canvas wrapped around thick stretcher bars and secured to the back rather than the sides of those bars. This mounting leaves the sides of the canvas smooth, neat and free of visible staples or tacks.

However, for work on paper, it is mandatory to have a protection whether a glass or plexiglass.

2. How do you frame the artwork?

With or without matt (also called passe partout). Here are photos to explain what I mean:

A. With a matt

B. Without a matt

3. How do you place the artwork related to the edge of the frame?  

A. On the edge of the frame (when it is without a matt of course)

B. With a space between the edge of the frame (possible with or without matt)

4. How do you place the artwork related to the glass protection?

In other words, you have a frame with a depth.  In that case, the question is:

Is the piece on the back side of the frame or on the front side of the frame, i.e. close to the glass?

A. Back of the frame

B. Front of the frame, close to the glass

5. What kind of frame?

Traditional

Very modern

Classical



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