Skip to: Content
Skip to: Site Navigation
Skip to: Search


HOW IMPORTANT CAN A FRAME BE?

October 29, 1990



This is one of a pair of ``tabernacle'' frames belonging to the Metropolitan Museum in New York. It was made in the early 17th century, possibly in Rome. The name ``tabernacle'' is used to denote frames of classical architectural design - though this was made in the ``mannerist'' period, when such notions as the broken pediment (at the top) were indulged because they diverged from strict classical precedents.

Skip to next paragraph

With its marbled columns, plinths, imposts, and entablature frieze, this is a frame whose self-importance must have dwarfed the image it was built to surround. But its enormous scale is deceptive: It is a miniature, only measured in inches.