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Every Picture Needs a Frame - But Which One?

Vincent van Gogh said: "A picture without a frame is like a soul without a body". The right choice of framing enhances the effect of the artwork and focuses the viewer's attention on the art. Inventiveness and aesthetic sense are required in framing. Furthermore, it is decisive where the picture, lithograph, sketch or document should find its place - at home or in public spaces. Since 1946, the unrestricted attention of the HALBE family has belonged to the perfect framing of works of art. Each picture frame is made exactly according to the wishes and ideas of the customer. 


The choice of framing

There are plenty of subjects worthy of framing, whether it is a painting, a photograph, a woodcut or a small stamp. Every object needs the support of the right framing to make it look its best on the wall. There are numerous ways to stage small and large works of art - from the choice of material for the mouldings, the type of framing to the glazing, there are no limits for the art lover, collector or gallery owner. First and foremost, the framing serves to visually enhance a picture and underlines its artistic quality. The frame takes on a limiting function and directs the viewer's gaze to the art.


Small pictures - big effect

The picture-passepartout-ledge unit is of considerable importance for an expressive framing. Especially with small works of art, inventiveness and aesthetic flair are required. "Every customer is surprised at the enhancement a small picture can experience through imaginative and harmonious framing," says David Halbe, Managing Director of HALBE-Rahmen GmbH. It is important to give the picture enough space. It looks harmonious if the width of the passepartout border is about 10 - 12 % of the measurement of the longer side of the frame. This type of framing is especially recommended for works on paper. It influences the viewing behaviour, directs the gaze and emphasizes especially small pictures. Rarely is the passe-partout too large, usually rather too small.


In the past, the golden section was the rule of thumb for passe-partout design - in this case, the picture was placed far upwards. Today, and especially with modern works, the picture is placed more centrally or in the so-called optical centre - the lower edge is a few millimetres wider than the upper. The optical center is perceived as pleasant by the viewer and prevents the artwork from visually running away to the bottom. Influenced by Instagram and Pinterest, modern square motifs are placed in the middle.


Great care is also required in the choice of colour (passe-partout one shade darker than the paper) and surface structure of the passe-partout. Both should enhance the radiance of a picture. Multiple passepartouts are a good choice for drawing the eye to the motif in several stages. HALBE uses only certified museum-quality mounts from Klug Conservation, which are acid-free and age-resistant. All mounts are cut to the exact millimetre. A carefully executed bevel cut of the inner edges conveys a certain depth and avoids shadows.



Free-floating framing: the absolute eye-catcher

Pictures can be framed flush with the surface or with a passepartout. The absolute eye-catcher, especially for works of art on textured or wavy paper, is free-floating framing, i.e. the picture is smaller than the frame and floats in a DISTANCE frame with an additional distance to the back wall. By fixing the picture on the back, the illusion of floating is created. This type of presentation ensures, for example, that the wavy paper of watercolours or the specially designed edges of a stamp are shown off to their best advantage. Prints, photographs, chalk or pastel drawings can also be showcased by the resulting depth effect.


The bar: The character of the image presentation

Choosing the right bar is also an art in itself and needs to be carefully considered. First and foremost, the motif is decisive. Furthermore, it is important to consider where the picture will later find its place. At home, one is more likely to be guided by the furnishings. In public rooms, a neutral moulding colour is usually preferred. In general, picture mouldings for small objects should never be too wide and powerful. For large works of art, the frame may be rather opulent and sometimes also strong. However, the frame should never compete with the picture. It is for the picture "stage and body" at the same time. "A light-looking, bright picture is quickly stifled if the moulding is too massive. On the other hand, it looks noble when it is framed with a narrow, discreet moulding. Light-coloured surfaces such as white, silver, aluminium or natural woods are ideal for this. Black would look like a foreign body. Strong black and white photographs, on the other hand, look perfect dark framed," David HALBE knows from experience. "In the knowledge section on our homepage, we show all interested parties how the individual presentation and mounting types of artworks look in frames." Click here to go to the knowledge page.



Daniel and Geo Fuchs present their large-format photographs in discreet aluminium profiles

From June 9 to July 14, 2018, the BraunbehrensinStuttgart Gallery will host the exhibition "Nature & Destruction" by the artist couple Daniel and Geo Fuchs (, who are known for their fascinating photographs taken with a large-format camera. What is special about this series of works is the use of a new technology. A robotic camera developed by Google and Nasa provided the individual image material, which they assembled into large-format photographs using a special process. The resulting images are unique in their colouring and exhibit extreme image sharpness, making them particularly realistic to look at.


The artists opted for flush framing with the CONSERVO magnetic frame, which ensures convenient framing from above. In addition to the design aspects, they chose the "XL" magnetic frames because of their stable construction, which has been thought through down to the smallest detail. Among other things, the frames have special braces to brace the back of the frame - a literally (in)visible advantage when hanging works consisting of several framed pictures to form one large picture without spacing. The quality pays off not only in the framing, but also for the viewer in the exhibition.


The frame profile used is Alu 18, black matt anodized and rectangular in shape. The particularly noble and simple design of the frames fits ideally into the presented objects and offers the works an optimal stage.



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