Gold carved Salvatore Mundi angel cassetta picture frame

With only 3 days for manufacture, John Davies Framing recently undertook an ambitious project to carve, gild and deliver a frame for the Museu Nacional de Belas Artes in Rio de Janeiro

There are 20 known versions of this composition of the Salvator Mundi, with Christ facing forward with His right hand raised in blessing. The painting is unusual in that it doesn’t resemble Leonardo’s other portraits. The head and upper torso fill the panel edge to edge like an icon, whereas Leonardo’s figures more ordinarily show more movement and engage with the scene around them.

An urgent call was put in to the Company on a Tuesday afternoon, requiring the frame to arrive in Rio the following Monday ready for the grand opening of the exhibition the next day.

The client was offered a selection of framing montages and the Angel Cassetta was chosen.

As is so often the case when an item must be prepared quickly, additional complications had to be accounted for. The painting is on a warped panel, so detailed drawings were obtained to make a bed between the glass and the painting. Fittings for hanging and non reflecting laminated glass were also provided.

Delivery times proved to be the final challenge, so a representative from the company flew to Frankfurt airport with the frame to meet the client’s representative who was on their way to Rio.