National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne
The Joseph Brown Collection. Presented through the NGV Foundation by Dr Joseph Brown AO OBE, Honorary Life Benefactor, 2004
This digital record has been made available on NGV Collection Online through the generous support of The Vizard Foundation
John Russell’s Almond tree in blossom, 1887, came into the collection in 2004. The frame was a late 20th century two-toned cassetta style frame with false gold gilded sight and outer edge and black painted flat. (above)
The decision to reframe the painting came in preparation for the exhibition, Australian Impressionists in France, in 2013.
Given the date of the work (1888) and the close relationship Russell had with Vincent van Gogh at this time, it was felt that the frames used by van Gogh could provide a stylistic source. The original painted frame that remains on ‘Quinces, lemons pears and grapes’ (van Gogh Museum) was used as a model. The profile form and size of this frame amounted to a broad timber flat with sight edge bevel.
The prototype frame depth was given to be 30mm however due to the heavy rustic feel of the NGV frame, the back edge was bevelled to provide a more subtle transition between the dark timber and light gallery walls.
The frame members were selected to limit the presence of knots and cut to length using a drop saw. The slight inaccuracy in the mitres helped with the hand-made, rustic appearance intended for the frame. The timber, Douglas fir, was based on the Condition Report provided by the van Gogh Museum.
Considerable effort and revision went into the colour, distressing and finishing of the timber.
The frame was fitted in 2013. (top)