inscribed in red paint l.l.: W.W. Collins / LATERNA S inscribed in pen and ink on paper label on reverse u.c.: No.1. R.A. 1918 / ANZAC April. 25th 1915. / W.W. Collins. R.I. R.B.C. Stoborough Croft / Wareham Dorset
National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne
Felton Bequest, 1919
This digital record has been made available on NGV Collection Online through the generous support of Digitisation Champion Ms Carol Grigor through Metal Manufactures Limited
The frame is made from a simple straight-sided ogee profile, elaborated at the corners and centres with large foliate composition decorations. The basic structure is mitred at the corners and braced on the reverse. The back edge carries a continuous run of composition rope, making a direct reference to the nautical theme of the painting. In a similar way the large ornaments to the corners and centres carry a sense of regalia. The surface is gilded and the bead has been burnished. The gilding, on a red bole, is otherwise matte and presents a solid surface, perhaps indicative of double gilding. A loss in the composition reveals a base layer of netting under the gesso layer. The wide flat at the sight edge carries, in black ink, the names of the locations and sea vessels in the painting.
There are losses and damage in the decorative work and the brushed size layer has deteriorated, becoming more noticeable than would have been intended.
This is the first framing of the painting and exists within a tradition of frames that are used as a didactic device for paintings, carrying names of people, places and in this case, ships.1 The style is a hybrid of classical and rococo elements but draws on nautical themes to bring the frame and painting together.
1 Of particular interest in this regard is the frame on Lady Elizabeth Thompson‘s The 28th regiment at Quatre Bras (p.309.9-1), the whole surface of which is inscribed with detail related to the subject of the painting and, to a lesser extent, the frame on E. M. Ward’s Josephine signing the act of her divorce (p.313.1-1).