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Small pictures - big effect

Putting small works of art in the limelight with the right framing and an aha effect

Kirchen, April 24, 2019 - Small-format watercolors, rare stamps, colorful postcards, valuable art prints or old black-and-white photographs - many small art treasures slumber in our drawers and deserve to be perfectly staged. HALBE - Framing knows the tricks of the trade when it comes to framing small pictures in a variety of ways so that they can unfold their full radiance and catch the viewer's eye. Framing with a disproportionate passepartout, free-floating in a distance frame or as a collage in a panorama frame - a wealth of ideas and aesthetic flair are required when framing small objects.


Small art treasures are everywhere

At the beginning of the 20th century, photographs were a rarity. Only on special occasions or celebrations did people go to the photographer or order him to come to the house. The black-and-white photographs from the 1920s and 1930s were usually only available in formats of 4.5 x 6 cm or 6.5 x 9 cm. The first industrially produced camera, the famous Kodak No. 1, recorded round pictures with a diameter of 6.5 cm. Many such photographic treasures are stored in our drawers and boxes. But also particularly beautifully designed postcards, certificates, art prints, watercolours or charcoal sketches impress us again and again. One would like to create a special corner in the house with them, which reflects personality and cosiness at the same time. But how can these "small" works of art be stylishly presented?


Framing with passepartout: The classic

The absolute star is the framing of small-format pictures with a disproportionate passepartout. The use of a passepartout not only draws the viewer's eye to the work of art, but also creates an effect of depth and lends the whole arrangement a noble touch. The decisive factor here is where the object will later find its place. If it is to be placed on a sideboard or side table in the future, framing with passepartout up to a size of 18 x 24 cm is recommended. However, if the artwork is to be hung on a wall, the passepartout may not be large enough. The use of multiple passepartouts should not be underestimated in order to give the small-format picture more expressiveness - in this case, several passepartout boards are used, one on top of the other, drawing the viewer's eye to the small picture.

If there are even several objects of the paintings, sketches or prints that complement each other in terms of content and colour, one can think about framing them all identically and later placing them on the wall in the form of a row or grid hanging. "Joint framing in a large square or rectangular picture frame with a corresponding passepartout-cut also sets small pictures perfectly in scene," emphasizes David Halbe, managing director of HALBE Rahmen GmbH. "The many small art objects thus form a large picture that is framed imaginatively and harmoniously at the same time." In general, care should be taken to ensure that valuable originals, whether prints, lithographs or photographs, are never mounted, as this reduces their value and could damage them if necessary. The pictures should be covered on all sides by the passepartout approx. 5 mm and have a firm flatness, which the HALBE magnetic frames guarantee at all times.


Free-floating framing: The absolute eye-catcher

Free-floating framing is an absolute eye-catcher, especially for works of art on structured or wavy paper, i.e. the picture is smaller than the frame and floats in a spacer frame with an additional distance to the rear wall. By fixing the picture on the back, the illusion of floating is created. This type of presentation ensures that the wavy paper of small watercolours or the specially designed edge of a stamp is shown off to its best advantage. The special depth effect enhances the effect of the art object.


Putting small mementos in the limelight

A small figurine, an old piece of jewellery, a special tool, a rare feather or unique paperwork can also be staged by a sophisticated framing in a distance or object frame. The object is placed in a frame against a suitable background and secured in the frame by means of an architect's clip or a transparent string, for example. Care should be taken to ensure that there is sufficient free space between the glass lettering and the object, i.e. the larger the object, the greater the distance of the frame should also be.