Case study A

Making a hand carved replica of a rare Florentine 16th century Mannerist frame from a period original for "Madonna and Child" by Andrea del Sarto

In 2014 Paul Mitchell Ltd were consulted by  The Museum of Western European Art in Tokyo to re-frame their Madonna and Child by the Florentine  Mannerist artist Andrea del Sarto (1486-1530). The  contemporary style would have been a Tuscan Mannerist frame in parcel-gilt  walnut. We had recently acquired a superb example of this period which appeared to be an ideal marriage.

The frame fitted the panel in width and to  within one inch in height. The figures are seemingly supported by the shaped  base of the frame which reinforces their sculptural  quality.  Furthermore the frame’s underlying geometry coincides with key points  in the picture’s composition. These invisible lines show  that structure of such a frame and picture were conceived to be mutually  harmonising.

Due to the size discrepancy the museum  commissioned us to produce a replica of this exceptional frame. The  stages of carving, gilding and finishing are illustrated below.


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