How would you frame Guernica?

I want to get a print of Picasso’s Guernica to hang over my couch. But I’m terrible at visualizing what the frame should be.

Since the painting is black, white, and shades of gray, should I go with a black frame? What can I do to keep a black frame from looking plasticky and cheap? Also, should the mat be white, or could I use another color to bring out the painting a little bit?

(My apartment has no color going on right now, so clashing with existing decor really isn’t an issue.)

First, I’d get something with it’s fingerprints on it. Maybe a soda can. Then I’d invite Guernica out for dinner somewhere remote where neither of us would be well known, so it wouldn’t have an alibi. Then I’d commit the crime and leave the can there as “evidence.” Being extremely careful not to leave my own fingerprints on the can or the crime scene, of course. And later, when the cops call, deny making any dinner arrangements with Guernica, but mention that it had asked me to “cover” for it during that time period by claiming we had a dinner date.


Damn it, Miller, you beat me to it!

Sorry to interject a serious reply amongst all the fun, but I would suggest either a black frame or perhaps a thin brushed aluminum frame.

If you’re unsure about a frame, it’s often helpful to take the picture or print to be framed with you when you go to select a frame. Once you’ve found the right one you usually know it immediately. The picture just seems to pop when you have it in the right frame.

If there are Michael’s, Hobby Lobby or Garden Ridge stores near you, I would suggest you try one of them. They often have on sale a wide variety of framed pictures which you can get at a bargain and then use only the frame. This is usually quite a bit cheaper than buying a frame only. On the other hand, if you want to go a more expensive frame it’s still a good idea to try the stores mentioned above first so that when ordering your expensive frame you’ll already know for sure what it is you want.

I’d go with a very dark brown or a deep mahogany wood frame with a rich cream mat. You don’t want white or black - the b&w of the print are going to run into it. You don’t want vibrant color, it’ll contrast with the piece.

Miller, that was great! I never thought of that interpretation when I started the thread :smack:

I really like mahogany, so that would be a good option. It also works because I would someday like to have my furniture be mission style, which would blend nicely.

Guernica is an odd size, so I don’t think I’ll be able to get a ready-made frame. But Michael’s does have oodles of frames to choose from. I’ll mosey on down there and check it out.

Weird – for a minute I thought you were asking for ideas on how to frame the original. Oddly enough, I’ve seen it in person and I can’t at all remember how (or whether) it was framed, but then a) it’s a HUGE painting, and b) it was in 1988.

I think color would take away from the painting itself, but other than that I‘m stumped (except that it should be something very simple). Taking the print with you to pick out the frame sounds like a good idea.

Funny, I had the same thought as Eva, thinking “why would anyone want to frame it?” I saw it in 2000 and IIRC it’s not framed. The measurements are 349,3 x 776,6 cm or roughly 11,5’x25,5’.
No poster can do it justice. The size does matter. :cool:

I also don’t recall any frame on the original when I saw it about 8 years ago. The painting is incredibly big and its size is what makes it great.

But I did see it at the end of a long jet-lagged day in Madrid and I got pickpocketed on the Metro on the way back to my hotel, so it wasn’t a great day. :mad:

It’s at the Reina Sofia Museum and I think about 90% of the visitors there don’t stop to see anything else. (Like me). Then again, I had spent about 3.5 hours in the Prado so I was “museumed out”

Personally, I like the idea of a gray (or maybe a gray-blue) matte and black frame. It might seem like a little much, but I think it would actually work quite nicely.

You’re right…the original has no frame, as far as I can tell. The one on display at the UN is a tapestry, so I would assume there is no frame there, either. Unfortunately, I don’t have the wall space to devote to a print the size of the original, and without a frame, it would just be a poster on the wall. The poster stores also tend to put it on the top of a more standard sized print with ‘Picasso’ written at the bottom, and I really don’t want that, so a mat and frame are required.

I have wood type paneling in my house so i got mine in a mahogany frame. i love it. i have it in the same room as “the autumn village” by Henri le Sidaner. I love my art!

OK, I’m with you on not being able to afford (in either money or space) a museum quality, original-sized print. I couldn’t either.

Following is MHO and not intended to belittle any previous or following posts. You’re asking for opinions here, and this is mine:

[rant]Don’t try to make it look pretty or match anything. What you want is a frame made of old, flattened, bombshell casing. Best would be a solid sheet of metal bigger than the print with burn marks and shreds hanging off the edges. Something that looks like it survived Hiroshima would be about right. Then mount the print in the middle. It’s a raging condemnation of the brutality and horror of war! It should bring tears to viewers’ eyes, including yours!!! Please don’t let it be pretty.[/rant] If the poster has matte or a title or anything, cut that stuff off it.

I hope I didn’t offend anyone, you found one of my buttons.

PS Re: that “copy” in the UN. Dub-yah had it covered when he tried to get agreement that the US should invade Iraq. (Wouldn’t want those pacifists influence anyone’s thinking.) Does anyone know if it has now been uncovered again?

NoCoolUserName, that would be the perfect frame for the print. And I had trouble figuring out why someone would want to frame Guernica, how did they get it?
And don’t put it in a wood frame of anykind. It doesn’t match. Contrast is good, usually, but Guernica should have nothing around it that distracts the eye.

A brushed silver or aluminum metal frame and a thin, just off white matte to give it a little space from the edge of the frame. Take the print to a decent frame shop and try a few matte and frame colors. It may cost you more than you expected but sometimes things that speak to you are worth it.

What if they mounted it on a solid “box”? The box would be the size of the print and about an inch or an inch and a half deep. That way there is nothing to contrast with.

(If they wanted glass then he could easly get plexyglass, cut it to fit, and screw it into the print/box thing)

I believe this is known in the framer’s trade as “block-mounted” - it’s how have all my prints done. And it’s how I’d hve said to do this one too…until I saw NoCoolUserName’s suggestion, which is perfect!

The suggestions sound good, in terms of simple and with limited color. The one observation - please disregard as appropropriate - ties into NoCoolUserName’s observation - this is an emotionally upsetting, violent statement. Is that the type of statement you want to make in your living room over your sofa?

Not that there’s anything wrong with that…

This is a fantastic idea! But where can I get such a material? I do have access to tools at my father’s house, which I could definitely use to make a rough-hewn frame, but I don’t know where I could get a sheet of metal. Maybe a junkyard?

WordMan, that’s a good point. I’m not really a very artistic person, but Guernica really hit me hard, just from seeing it in books. It’s not often that a piece of art evokes a ‘fist in the gut’ reaction from me, and I want to honor that by placing it in my home. I do have a hallway that might be more appropriate for the piece. If I moved my family pictures, it would be the only item on the wall for the entire hall, which might give it a lot more impact.

When NoCoolSpouseName wanted art mounted on a metal sheet, a local metal shop was willing, for a nominal price, to cut the sheet to size and weld some light U-bar to the back to give it some rigidity. Then you’re on your own for giving it texture. Sprinkle some stuff (salt, sulphur, sumpin’) on there and blow torch it? Hammer the crap out of it? Maybe when you find a metal shop they’ll have suggestions (or maybe they’ll be upset that you’re going to trash their nice, shiny metal).

I think that the most important aspect of this art project is to be sure and have the little 80 year old Spaniard, dressed in black with a red/white bandana and black beret, sitting close to the poster, smoking and muttering to himself and occasionally shouting tirades against Socialists.

Or maybe you were just looking for my response on the frame, in which case I would have to go with simple black.