Picture – frame – image: a conference to be held in November 2019

Louis Caravaque (1685-1752), Portrait of Peter the Great, Central Naval Museum, St Petersburg

Russian National Committee of the International Council of Museums (ICOM)
State Museum of the History of St. Petersburg
The Russian Academy of Arts
St Petersburg State Museum – ‘Tsarskoselskaya kollectsiya’

Dear colleagues,

We would like to invite you to take part in the International Scientific Conference, ‘Picture – Frame – Image’, which will take place at the VIII St Petersburg International Cultural Forum.

Date: 11-12th November 2019

Venue: Conference Hall of the State Museum of the History of St Petersburg (The Peter and Paul Fortress, St Petersburg, Russia)

The picture frame, as a valuable piece of decorative art, rarely attracts the attention of specialists; nevertheless, exhibitions of picture frames have been held in various international museums.

These include ‘Regards sur les cadres’ at the Musée du Louvre in 2018, ‘The Sansovino frame’  at the National Gallery, London, in 2015, ‘The art of the picture frame’ at the National Portrait Gallery, London, in 1996-97, and ‘In perfect harmony’ in the Van Gogh Museum in 1995. Two exhibitions of picture frames have been held in Russia: ‘Dress the picture’ in 2005 at the State Russian Museum, and ‘Picture and frame: Dialogues’ in 2014 at the State Tretyakov Gallery. Earlier exhibitions include ‘Prijst de lijst’ at the Rijksmuseum in 1984, and ‘The art of the edge’ at the Art Institute of Chicago in 1986.

In recent years, numbers of monographs and scientific articles have been published in various countries on both the history of picture frames and the problem of the perception of works of art, as mediated by the frame. However, frames need continuing study; and serious scientific discoveries may be made, for example in the area of creating frames for paintings by artists of different eras.

In Russia, the first International Conference to be held on the subject was preceded by a round table discussion organized by ICOM Russia as part of the Intermuseum festival. We hope that the theme of this present conference will attract the attention of both museum specialists and curators, as well as those who study the problem of framing in a cultural and philosophical context.

Raphael (1483-1520), The Conestabile Madonna, c.1504, The State Hermitage Museum, St Petersburg

Proposals on any of these themes are particularly welcomed:

  • Artists, architects, and carvers as the creators of picture frames.
  • The role of the frame in the perception of a piece of art.
  • The sacred image and its frame.
  • The frame and the problem of the synthesis of the arts.
  • The artist’s frame.
  • The place and importance of picture frames in interior decoration.
  • The problem of conservation/disclosure of the historical appearance of the frame in the process of its conservation/restoration.
  • The role of picture frames in shaping the image of a museum exhibition.

Specialists in the fine and decorative arts, art historians, cultural experts, museologists, and restorers are invited to participate in the conference.

Information on participation 

Contributions on a subject related to the theme of the conference should take this form:

  • a full-length paper of 20 minutes, plus time for questions

The languages of the conference are Russian and English.

Participation in the conference is free of charge. Please note that travel and accommodation expenses are the responsibility of those attending. The organizing committee can assist in obtaining visas for foreign speakers.

Please submit your proposal for a paper to lysenko-oks@mail.ru. before the 14th of October 2019


  1. Name
  2. Surname
  3. Country
  4. Organization
  5. Title of paper
  6. Abstract: 1200 words max.
  7. Email address
  8. Phone number

Contact:       Oksana A. Lysenko – lysenko-oks@mail.ru

Osip Braz (1873-1936), Portrait of Count Dmitri Ivanovich Tolstoy, Director of the Hermitage 1909-18, o/c, 1901, carved oak Art Nouveau frame, State Russian Museum, St Petersburg