Neoromanian style picture frames – 2

I published in February this year an article about Neo-Romanian style picture frames, which was exceedingly popular among my blog readers. The present one is its second part, showing another two exquisite such artefacts from the prized collection of architect Madalin Ghigeanu to whom I am grateful to allowing the publication of their images on Historic Houses of Romania blogsite.

Neo-Romanian style picture frame dating from the 1910s 

The picture frame illustrated above is on the same pattern as the one described in the precedent article, as Brancovan church portals. The Byzantine arch is adorned with geometrised Georgian and Armenian latticework motifs inspired from the Curtea de Arges cathedral, supported by two short columns decorated with the rope symbol (they can also be interpreted as a mixed representation of the ethnographic motif of the rope and Solomonic column shaft). The pediment of the arch contain two beautiful six ray solar discs inspired from the Indo-European ethnography. Fittingly the photograph hosted by this frame is that of Crown Princess Marie in the 1890s, in a Romanian peasant costume (it is from Arges ethnographic area in southern Romania, given to her as a present by Queen Elisabeth of Romania, a keen promoter of the Romanian national identity in art and architecture; ref: “Marie of Romania. Images of a Queen”, author Diana Mandache, Rosvall Royal Books 2007 http://royalromania.wordpress.com/about-me/).

Neo-Romanian style picture frame dating from the 1910s 

The second frame has an ethnographic character, decorated with pleasant to the eye combinations of half and quarter solar disks. Its sides are arrayed in an attractive “H” shape. The picture inside that “H” is that of Queen Marie of Romania and her youngest daughter Princess Ileana in peasant costumes at Bran Castle, their property in the Transylvanian Alps, on the former border between the old princedoms of Transylvania and Wallachia.

Neo-Romanian style picture frames – 1

I would like to present you two beautiful Neo-Romanian style wooden picture frames, dating from the early 1910s at a time when the mature phase of Romania’s national style was hugely gaining in popularity, following the success of the Bucharest Great Jubilee Exhibition of 1906 when the new national style of Romania was showcased to the wider public. These fine artefacts are part of architect Madalin Ghigeanu’s collection of documents and objects of Romanian history, to whom I am grateful for allowing the publication of their photographs on this blog. The motifs craved on the frames are an encyclopaedia of Neo-Romanian style decoration: the Byzantine arch, short rope motif columns, ethnographic solar discs, patterns taken from peasant embroideries, etc. Fittingly the frames now host autographed photographs of Queen Marie, Romania’s British Queen, a granddaughter of Queen Victoria, in peasant costume, one of the iconic promoters of the Neo-Romanian style since its first years, especially in the field of interior and furniture design, gardening, fashion and painting.

Neo-Romanian style picture frame 

The picture frame above reminds me of a book cover design, which I reviewed on this blog (click here to access article), where a similar pair of column span the Byzantine arch. I like the exquisite solar discs, ever present in Romanian ethnography, and the suggestion of a three-lobed broken arch inspired from the Brancovan church architecture that is carved along the opening of the frame.

Neo-Romanian style picture frame 

The columns in the second example show an abstract rectangular-like configuration of the rope motif, popular in the building architecture, used for wall friezes, and inspired from Curtea de Arges cathedral‘s c16th designs. The solar discs are composed from the customary six rays, an ancestral motif encountered in Indo-European ethnography from Sri Lanka to Ireland, while remaining field is filled with patterns inspired from the embroderies that embellish the Romanian peasant costumes.