Sunday, July 04, 2021

Salon du Dessin and How to frame your Eiffel Tower


You come up from Metro line 3 at Place de la Bourse, et voila! Palais Brongniart, an auspicious neoclassical Roman style building approved by Napoleon 1 for the Paris stock exchange in 1808. You can still the annual Salon du Dessin through Sunday if you’re in Paris.

Don’t miss looking up at the massive neoclassical painted ceiling. 

Yet the ground floor is a rabbit’s warren of small international galleries displaying smaller works of beautifully framed drawings, watercolors and some scribbles.

In such intimate spaces you can commune with the artworks at eye-level. Its a treasure chest of delights. 

These multi-gallery shows are a great place for framing 🖼 inspo. 

Just because a drawing is small, even tiny is no reason to shy away from using a big impressive frame.

Posh galleries prefer mats in shades of offbeat green and ecru for old master drawings, but you can use them too, to add a ton of class to your collection. Forget trying to match the upholstery…ahem. And notice how a wall of unmatched frames, all different sizes with different colored mats can look fine together.

Here’s the basic rule of thumb for all art works on paper. They need AIR. Space between the glass for the artwork to BREATHE. Good art paper responds and expands depending on the weather. Humidity, moisture effect not just the paper but the paint surface, which, if its watercolor is water-soluble. 
Is your artwork tacked up in the kitchen with no frame or protection near the stovetop or over the sink? By the way, oil and acrylic paintings 🎨 are not soluble. Still I wouldn't hang them in the kitchen.
A little sketch of Eugene Boudin’s. The wide goldie frame and even wider dark green mat accent and contrast the drawing beautifully.
Where can you find these old traditional frames without breaking the bank? Flea markets or house auctions, or stuff left in the street of course. For the matting you may have to go to the framer, but it will cost a lot less hopefully.

A wonderful unfinished preparatory sketch that says more as is, than perhaps if it was completed.

This doodle is immediately recognizable as a Toulouse Lautrec.

Here’s a mixup of stunning small sketches placed within one frame instead of framing separately. Each one is a jewel no?

Someone sent me this picture of their wall of framed Paris letters. I wish I could remember who it was. Was it you? ☺️

While looking at the border of the Paris Parks letter, I found an old multi-doodle of the Luxembourg chairs everyone seems to love and made it into a watercolor. I’d love to see how you frame it 🖼 The lush floral bouquets at Salon du Dessin are worth the price of admission. Stay tuned for tomorrow: the 🍋 citron tarte map! 🗺 Please stay cool West Coast and Canadian readers🙏 Bon Dimanche PBers 💋🐝🐻☺️


  1. Very educational post Carol.
    Framing, matting (or not), and displaying art work is a real talent!
    Great wall display of your watercolors. I keep mine in a plexiglass frame & change them when the new ones arrive.

  2. Ah ha! a plexiglass frame
    That’s a good idea! Very clever comme d’habitude.

  3. I am receiving emails but it no longer says from Paris Breakfast but Is this you or a bogus account?

  4. There is no bogus acct.
    we all had to get new email providers at Bogger. is mine.

  5. Jacqueline11:55 AM

    great input for art work & framing! You know your Stuff.

  6. A tually Ilearned a lot at the exhibit.
    I tend to go with all the same frame, same mat, all in the same color

  7. I love matting and framing my art work - have hardly a single spot left on my walls (in a four bedroom house). Those peonies are scrumptious. Happy 4th to you and Bear.

  8. Love the peonies at the end of today's letter!
    Merci & Central Bay Area in fog Season.
    Cool here , thank heaven!

  9. Oh send pictures please Suki
    I’d love to see your walls.
    I wish I could mat and frame. One can’t do everything…

  10. The green mats are beautiful and an instant update. Thank you for all your postings. You are living many women’s dream.

  11. Great advice on framing and matting, Carol. I don’t know if I can part with my wee oil paintings of fruits in my kitchen though! Love the gilt frames in the exhibition…lovely.

  12. I just loved the post.

  13. Mine are in poster frames:)

  14. Diane and Andy4:51 PM

    It was us with the 12 framed maps of Paris. They are document frames that have glass on the back also, where we saved some of the additional items you ship with the maps. They make us happy everyday.

  15. Oh I love it!
    I’ve used it on Etsy so many times
    Thank you Diane and Andy

  16. You're right about framing. I just wish I had more walls! I love the gorgeous professional framing and matting and if I had work that was truly valuable (and I do have a bit of that!) I would do that. But now there are very nice archival mats and reasonably priced frames that one needn't find a find framer for every bit of art.

    This is a fabulous exhibit and you are right about how the framing makes the pieces (which were already pretty spectacular!)


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