The foregoing relates more particularly to oil and Water-colour paintings framed without margin. In the writer's opinion, no picture gains by being separated from its frame by a mount (or margin, in the case of a print), provided that the framing is suitable. Undoubtedly the best results are obtained from a uniform system of framing, in which the width of frame moulding bears a constant proportion to the size of the picture. The Choice of a Frame
A rough-and-ready rule for medium-sized pictures, framed without margin, is that the width of frame moulding should be about one-third the smaller dimension of the picture. With larger pictures it may be less, and with smaller pictures more.
All pictures of the same size should have frames of the same width. If this rule be observed, variety of patterns in frames is permissible within certain limits.
Prints and other pictures with a con-siderable margin do not come under the rule. There is considerable latitude in the way they may be framed. Light, delicately treated subjects are often best treated with narrow, light frames, and the passe - par -tout in which the frame revolves itself into a mere narrow binding is permissible.
The old rule that oil and water-colour pictures should be hung separately holds good so long as the latter are surrounded by a mount, but when framed close up to the picture we may ignore it, particularly when both are under glass, for then it is not easy to tell at a glance which is which. Gilt frames, usually considered so essential for oil-paintings, are by no means so. Small oil-pictures look better and have greater decorative value when in black frames, provided picture and frame are separated by a narrow gilt bevel. This point has become so well recognised that an artists' society exists in which the members always put their exhibition pictures into black frames.
Colour pictures should never be put into coloured frames.
The subject of picture-framing is a very large one, and cannot be dealt with adequately in this article. Therefore only such details have been touched upon as are related intimately to the question of hanging.
The question of lighting is an important one.
Our picture-galleries are all lighted from above, but our living-rooms rarely or never. In rooms lighted by a single window the best lighted walls will be those adjacent to that in which the window situated The wall facing the window is bad for pictures under glass, as in daytime they will be obscured by baffling reflections, except when viewed obliquely. By artificial light, Which usually is a top light, the conditions are changed. Hence pictures are seen best in our rooms, . in most cases, by artificial light.
3a. Another satisfactory method is to insert a screw as in C. and attach the suspen-sion hook as shown. This method is excellent for plaster walls
Dark or low-tone subjects should be given the strongest light - that is, they should be hung nearest to the window.
The practice of tilting pictures is sometimes employed to eliminate reflections when the pictures have to be hung at a high level, but it has come to be a custom, the purpose of which is not understood by its perpetrators. It destroys all decorative effect, changing the picture from a wall decoration into a piece of furniture, and should never be done unless absolutely necessary for the purpose indicated
It is not intended that the foregoing precepts will meet every case, unless there be some modicum of taste, and a sense of what is consistent, in the mind of the picture-hanger. His equipment must go beyond the possession of nails, a hammer, and the strength to wield it. But a careful consideration of the principles involved will go a long way to prevent those errors which make the walls of our rooms hideous.
Fig 4. A wire suspension hook, to which is attached a patent chain, can be fixed to the picture-rail, and the picture be hung by its means without injury to the wall picture-rail. Below are two views of the
Fig. 4a. Side view of the wire hook and coupling hook
If the room is furnished with a picture - rail, so much the better. It relieves us of the necessity for driving nails into the wall.
If no pic-ture-rail exists, and there are reasons for not adding it, then we must adopt those means which involve a minimum of damage.