Ours has become a successful company because we manufacture picture frames for lots of great art. And, in the process, we have naturally developed not only a love for the framing process but for the fascinating and well-executed work that customers continually bring to us to frame. This commercial success means that, as a mature business, we can afford to give a little back to the art-lovers who are the mainstay of our client-base, art-appreciators who share our enthusiasm. No we're not quite as affluent as the Medici family, so we cannot sponsor the 21st century equivalent of Sandro Botticelli, Leonardo da Vinci and Michelangelo di Lodovico Buonarroti Simoni. But we can manage a bit of patronage and philanthropy when it comes to youngsters. So on this site you will find an already-substantial resource, one that grows all the time, which you are welcome to utilise entirely free of charge.
This article is about the French painter Élisabeth Louise Vigée Le Brun who, during a lengthy career interrupted by the hiccough of the French Revolution which removed some of the heads she’d thankfully already captured on canvas, depicted many of Europe’s royals and privileged celebrities. She was, in her time, a mould-breaker for several reasons. And she continues to be. In 2019 her seemingly-modern full-sized work ‘Portrait of Muhammad Dervish Khan’ (above) sold at Sotheby’s for US$7.2 million (almost exactly £6 million at the time), which was then the highest price for work by a female pre-modern artist. Indeed in doing this she simply smashed (five-fold) her own record, held for one of many self-portraits of her. On this basis she is considered to be an ‘old master’.
This article is about the innovative French painter and printmaker (1832–83), a 'modernist' who is sometimes credited with being not only the father of modernism but one of the artists (if not the artist) whose work initiated the transition from realism to impressionism.
This article is about the Spanish painter Diego Rodríguez de Silva y Velázquez (1599 – 1660). He was essentially a portrait-painter and a 'tenebrist', that is he worked in a style made famous by Caravaggio and where the subjects are in shadows that are dramatically illuminated by beams of light which are usually from identifiable sources.
This article is about the French painter Claude Monet, the founding-father of the 'impressionist' movement and whose hazily-executed work 'Soleil Levant' (or 'Impression, Sunrise'), originally exhibited in 1874, is acknowledged to be the painting that first expressed the outcome when an artist tried to record his perceptions rather than accurately, and perhaps clinically, depict his exact observations.
This article is about Chris Ofili, a controversial British painter of Afro-Caribbean heritage who in 1998 was the first black winner of the Turner Prize with his painting ‘Orgena’ (this was also the first painting to have won the prize since 1985) after rising to prominence as one of the Young British Artists group – though his work is certainly distinctly different from that of his contemporaries.
This article is about Caravaggio, whose full name was Michelangelo Merisi (perhaps Michele Angelo Merigi or Amerighi) da Caravaggio, and who lived from 1571 to 1610. Named ‘Caravaggio’ after the village near Milan from which he hailed, and a formidable talent who brought both unprecedented psychological realism and an ability to accentuate light and shadow, he has been credited by some with single-handedly launching the baroque era and others with being the spark from which modern art grew.
Warhol loved to exude an aura of mystery and reinvent himself. In this sense he doubtless inspired David Bowie to create seemingly-endless persona. Bowie apparently only met Warhol once but was a big fan, and both men worked with the 'Velvet Underground' frontman Lou Reed. There were other links. Bowie played the role of Warhol in the 1996 film 'Basquiat' directed by Julian Schnabel). And, of course, Bowie famously wrote 'Andy Warhol' (for his 1971 album 'Hunky Dory') which he even performed at 'The Factory' in Warhol's absence - though apparently Warhol was offended by the lyric 'Andy Warhol looks a scream' (interesting given that Andy's big brother once mistook a photo of Bowie for being his own brother!)
This article is about the German artist Albrecht Dürer (1471–1528), a contemporary of the Italian Niccolò Machiavelli (1469-1527) who was a diplomat, politician, historian, philosopher, writer, playwright and poet.
This article is about Laurence Stephen Lowry, whose unique style and wish to depict contemporary urban landscapes populated by matchstick men took him from a life of 'downwardly-mobile' Victorian poverty to the point where a single painting could sell for £5 million or more, and he holds the record for turning down the most honours including a knighthood, though he's still sit in a home with sagging armchairs and frayed carpets.
This article is about London-based Oliver Yu Chan. He’s a prodigious young Anglo-Chinese talent who has had a dozen of his murals (enlarged works) exhibited by constructors along 100 metres or so of the very twee hoardings that screen the construction-work at the Royal Free, up Rosslyn Hill in NW3, at the trust’s suggestion.