This section is from the book "The Practical Book Of Interior Decoration", by Harold Donaldson Eberlein, Abbot Mcclure, Edward Stratton Holloway. See also: The Victorian House Book: A Practical Guide to Home Repair and Decoration.
The landscape or sea-piece should usually have a simpler frame than the ornamental figure subject; oftentimes the simpler it is the better. Yet it is difficult to formulate rules where each picture has requirements of its own. Frequently a painting of full and mellow harmony will look well in quite an ornamental setting if that be desired (Plate 101) and again a virile piece of work may be of sufficient strength to stand almost any frame. It is the picture that is full of detail or which is none too strong in ensemble which should not have further and distracting detail added in its frame. For old portraits nothing is so appropriate as the frames of their own time (Plate 98).
Unless newer portraits of women are emphatically modern in spirit we may use for them the very beautiful Adam, Louis Quinze, or Louis Seize designs. Men's portraits will be more appropriately framed in rather heavier and simpler mouldings, of which the Whistler styles are among the best examples.
There are many good non-commital designs for modern paintings of various classes.
The paintings of strongly decorative character - such as the figure-pieces of the great Frenchmen, primarily used for panels, architectural scenes and formal flower-pieces with sculptured vases - partake largely of the nature of architectural decorations and should be treated accordingly. An unusually beautiful setting is shown in Plate 117 and others occur in Plates 65 A, 58 and 112.
Glass is not usually employed over oil paintings except when they are of moderate dimensions, of much value, or of great smoothness and delicacy of treatment, as, for instance, the work of the Dutch genre painters, fine portraits, flowers, and the like. The protection from dust and gas fumes afforded by glass is however so great that it might more often be used than it is. A strip is set in by the frame-maker so that it does not touch the picture.