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Article: Frames: Baroque: Spanish

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"A Brief History of Frames - Baroque: Spanish"

(© Copyright 2012, John O'Keefe Jr.)
Publisher: Painting Frames Plus
(Published Date: )
(Modified Date: 2016)

Spanish Baroque: Period: c.1600-c.1750

The Baroque style made it's way into Spain later than other parts of Europe, and lasted from the late 1500's to the early 1700's. The Spanish, with their love of flamboyant decorative arts, easily assimilated the dramatic Gothic, Mannerist and Baroque styles into their art, music, architecture and literature.

Spanish Frames:

"Italian and Spanish 17th century frames styles are closely related; so much so that they are sometimes difficult to tell apart." [1] A common profile found in early Spanish frames is the Cassetta, consisting of a frieze, which is a flat expanse of panel, and a raised inner and outer section. A popular variation of the Cassetta that was used by Spanish frame-makers is the reverse Cassetta (also refereed to as the reverse rebate), where the outer section in sometimes inset, not raised. In the late 17th century, as Spanish baroque frames began to develop a uniquely "Spanish" style, the bolection profile became popular. The bolection profile pushes the artwork forward, toward the viewer, lifting the image away from the wall surface and usually incorporates a convex or reverse ogee moulding. (figure 1)

The design elements on Spanish frames reached their peak during the 17th and 18th centuries. Carvings that commonly depicted acanthus leaves adorned the corners and centers of the frieze had became larger and bolder. Bulinatura, sgrafitto and polychrome techniques were often used. Spanish frames also incorporated color in addition to gold, that often had a brown tone, to compliment the color pallet of the artwork. (figure 2)

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  1. Picture Framing Magazine, Italian and Spanish 17th Century Frames, October 2002


  • Paul Mitchell and Lynn Roberts, Frameworks: Form, Function & Ornament in European Portrait Frames, ISBN: 1-85894-037-0
  • Picture Framing Magazine, Italian and Spanish 17th Century Frames, October 2002
  • Quebracho, Spanish Frames: Spanning the period from the 17th to the 18th centuries, (Retrieved June, 2013)
  • D. Gene Karraker, Looking at European Frames: A Guide to Terms, Styles, and Techniques, Getty Publications 2009
  • http://www.wisegeek.com/what-is-spanish-baroque.htm, (Retrieved June, 2013)
  • http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spanish_Baroque_architecture, (Retrieved June, 2013)
  • http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spanish_Golden_Age, (Retrieved June, 2013)