1st Edition

Italian Renaissance Frames at the V&A

By Christine Powell, Zoe Allen Copyright 2009
    348 Pages
    by Routledge

    348 Pages
    by Routledge

    This visually stunning and technically detailed book is an in-depth analysis of the materials and techniques used on thirty eight of the V&A's Renaissance frames. The book will teach the reader to recognise frame style, structure and surface decoration of the period, as well as additions and alterations and later frames in the style.  

    * First detailed technical analysis of the V&A's most important Renaissance frames

    * Highly illustrated with 100 + colour photos of front back and details, digital reconstructions, section profiles, and illustrations of frame types, joints and mouldings. 

    * Provides a comparative reference for Renaissance frames in other publications

    Christine Powell has worked at the V&A since 1993. She is a Senior Furniture Conservator specialising in gilt wood European Furniture, mirror and picture frames.  She has also worked at The National Gallery London for seven years as conservator working on European painted and gilt wood altarpieces and frames and The Wallace Collection for two years on European gilt wood frames and furniture. She has taught and published articles on the history, materials techniques and conservation of gilding. Christine studied furniture making and restoration of furniture at the London College of Furniture (latterly the Metropolitan University) including wood finishing, carving and gilding. Before this she worked in private practice for furniture restoration and special paint effects firms. She also attended Epsom School of Art and Design.

    Zoë Allen first joined the V&A in 2000 to work on gilt wooden objects for the British Galleries and returned to the V&A in 2003 where she has worked since as Frames and Gilded Furniture Conservator. Before joining the V&A full time she worked as a conservator for both public institutions, such as English Heritage, and private practices including projects at the Royal Academy, St Paul’s Cathedral and Somerset House. Zoë has published articles on her work. After a first degree in French Literature, Zoë studied conservation at the City & Guilds of London Art School. Her training covered the conservation of objects made from wood, stone and other sculptural materials, gilding and decorative surfaces. Internships included the National Institute for Restoration, Croatia, the Royal Collection, London and the Museum of London.

    Foreword; Preface; Introduction; 40 frames; Glossary; Index


    Christine Powell, Zoe Allen

    "The book is well illustrated with excellent colour plates, frame sections and, in some cases, paint cross sections, infrared and chromatogram graphs. The reverses of almost all the frames are illustrated. The quality and range of illustrations sets a new standard for a catalogue of frames. The book includes an introduction on Renaissance materials and techniques and a glossary. It is arranged in five sections, tabernacle frames, cassetta and tondo frames, mirror frames, Sansovino frames and, finally, a chapter devoted to ‘Part Renaissance and Renaissance style frames’. As a technical study, this book is exceptional."

    Jacob Simon, Chief Curator, National Portrait Gallery