In 2007, the National Galleries of Scotland acquired Sous Bois (L'Entrée du Dormir), a painting by Narcisse Diaz de la Pena (known as Diaz).

When the painting arrived at the Gallery, it had recently been reframed in a period reproduction neoclassical style by a dealer or previous owner. Though the frame was contemporary with the period of the painting, the Conservation team and the Director of the Scottish National Gallery decided to reframe the painting in a style more in keeping with the artist and subject matter.

The search began for a suitable period frame but none was found that fit the period or dimensions of the painting or that could have been easily altered. It was suggested that, considering Diaz’s association with the Barbizon group of painters and Fontainebleau, that a period reproduction Barbizon type frame would be most appropriate. Following extensive consultation and research, the frame would be designed and constructed at the National Galleries of Scotland frame studio.

Following visits to several organisations, including Tate, the Courtauld Institute and the Hunterian, we found that the best frame to use as a comparison was within the National Galleries of Scotland’s own Collection, framing On the Amstel, a painting by Dutch artist Jacob Maris. Though constructed in a factory in Leyden, this frame is of French Barbizon design and the most suitable comparison in terms of period, profile, scale and ornament. The Maris’ frame and Diaz painting were then photographed and fused together in Photoshop and, following approval from the Director, the project began.