Bronze Picture Frame
14" x 9"
A French picture frame, made of bronze, circa 1930. The concept of framing pictures has been around since the times of the ancient Greeks and Egyptians, with one of the first physical frames dating to AD 50–70, having been found in an Egyptian tomb, almost perfectly preserved. The earliest frames were typically constructed from stucco or wood, and only used to protect portraits. The first picture frames as we know them today appeared on small panel paintings in 12th- and 13th-century Europe. Framing art in the domestic setting gained popularity in France in the 1500s, under the reign of King Francis I (r. 1515–1547), a prodigious and passionate patron of the arts. This bronze picture frame features the face of Roman god Bacchus, also known as Dionysus in the ancient Greek tradition. Bacchus is the god of fertility, wine, and pleasure. He typically wears a wreath of ivy leaves, a plant that was sacred to him, which can be seen here. His rosy cheeks, perhaps from drinking too much wine, are also noticeable in this design. Surrounding Bacchus’s head and the rest of the picture frame is an intricate, swirling motif, perhaps reminiscent of grapevines. From the front, the frame appears to stand delicately on two ornamented legs. Consider this bronze picture frame as a candidate to hold a favourite image from a time of great pleasure and enjoyment in your own life.
At this time in France, the country hosted the FIFA World Cup from June 4–June 19, 1938. This was the third edition of the international football competition, with Italy taking home the championship over 14 other countries. This was the last World Cup to be played until 1950, due to the Second World War.