Late 19th & early 20th Century Paintings & Decorative Arts Gallery Level 2, NGV International
When Dubuffet’s Arab in a burnous was acquired in 1981 it came housed in a deep red and gold scotia frame with a wide flat linen slip.
When the painting was removed from this frame for examination in 1988, it was noted as having a thin, black, painted strip of wood pinned to all sides.
This was taken to be the original presentation of the painting and the broad, gilded frame put aside.
The timber strips have a quarter round at the front and back edge, are 5 mm deeper than the edge of the painting and are pinned to the sides so that the top edge of the frame is flush with the surface of the work. The corners are mitred and the surface is black paint.
It is possible these pieces of timber are an edge strip moulding brought across to the framing of the work.
The painting has been on display in the black, strip frame since 1988.