Framing H.W. Hansen

Have two fantastic western watercolors by Herman Wendelborg Hansen (1853-1924) to show. Hansen was born in Germany and settled here in the Bay Area. He was friends with William Keith and Maynard Dixon, but was clearly a very different painter. His son was Armin Hansen, the more famous California Impressionist.

Both paintings are framed close, with gasket mats and lined rabbets. Substantial space around the subject in each case makes a mat unnecessary, and the size and strength of the images means they each hold up to a wide frame just fine—much like an oil painting.

This first one we just finished. It’s titled “At the Round-Up” (n.d., 29-3/4″ by 19-3/4″). The mitered frame is an original design to this picture and is carved walnut, with a Nut Brown stain, in a 3-1/2″ wide scoop profile. It has an 18 kt gilt slip. I always liked this one we made for a Kevin Courter painting several years ago, and I thought of the carving pattern I’d done on it when I saw the skull in the foreground of this piece. (See carving detail in second image.)

HW Hansen, "At the Round-up,"

HW Hansen, “At the Round-up,” n.d. (Watercolor, 29-3/4″ by 19-3/4″)

Here’s a detail of the corner:

Corner detail

Corner detail

Same customer had brought me another Hansen a year ago, which we put a Compound scoop profile, No. 318—2-1/2″ + Cap 801—7/8″ in quartersawn white oak (Medieval Oak stain), also with a pale gold slip.

HW Hansen, watercolor

HW Hansen, untitled and undated watercolor, 22-1/2″ x 16″

Framing close means that the frame is close to the picture; no mat separates them. But there’s a second meaning, at least as important, which is that, in a picture with perspective, a mat creates separation in the illusionary third dimension as well, pushing the subject not only away from the frame but away from the viewer. This explains the more intimate, as well as more unified, effect of a picture framed close.

More on HW Hansen…

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