Why Frame “Gallery Wrapped” Canvas Paintings?

It is true that gallery wrapped canvases do not require framing, however, sometimes they benefit from them.

Just what is gallery wrapped canvas? Typically, the canvas is wrapped around deep (1.5 inch or more) stretcher bars, or other support, and stapled in the back, thus allowing the sides of the canvas to be painted. With painted sides, framing is optional though sometimes desirable.

Gallery wrapped paintings can benefit from what I call a “reveal frame” or “relief frame”. These are frames that cup or cradle the painting in a way that the painted sides are revealed as in the photo below. Typically the frame matches the painting’s depth. Each frame is custom made and stained in to match the painting.

It is easy to see how the painting below, Momma Is Watching, ‘pops’ when framed.