France was the artistic center of international culture in the 17th and 18th centuries and the Louis Styles of this “Golden Age of Frame Making” produced spectacular opulent frames of unmatched carving and gilding. In the 19th century, when these designs were recreated in revival designs, the ornamentation was cast in plaster and no longer hand-carved. Louis 13th and Louis 14th style continuous designs in particular paved the way for late 19th century Barbizon style cast frames.
Louis 13th – In the 17th century, France produced extremely ornate and finely crafted hand- carved and gilt frames. Louis 13th style frames date from 1630-1643 and are influenced by Italian designs. They are frequently ornamented with continuous carvings of acanthus, oak, or laurel leaves mixed with and floral ornamentation.
Oak Leaf – 17th century French frames in the Louis XIII style with a continuous oak-leaf and acorn carved ornament are usually referred to as oak leaf frames. These frames can be French or English.