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 15th – In the 18th century, France produced extremely ornate and finely crafted hand- carved and gilt frames. The new Rococo style of scrolling or ‘sweeping’ panels between strong corner and center cartouches replaced previous Regence designs. Louis 15th style frames date from 1723 – 1774.
Sweep – An extremely ornate Rococo frame style from the mid-18th century in which the top rail is curved or swept (instead of straight) between large ornate corner and center cartouches. These frames are usually referred to as ‘sweep’ frames in the Louis XV style, but there are also English and Venetian ‘sweep’ frames.