There is a short answer and a long answer to this question. The short answer is that if the canvas is stretched and you’re pleased with the way that it looks on its own, then go ahead and display it just like that, without a frame. Unlike paintings and prints on paper, canvas has a shape and structure of its own.
Therefore, not all canvases need to be framed. However if you feel that framing the canvas will help to complete the look, then it is certainly a great option. The key is not to interfere with the look and style that was intended by the original artist.
The majority of pieces can typically be nicely complemented by a frame both for the style and the protection hat it provides. Moreover, it can often help to make sure that the artwork will suit the specific area in which it will be displayed. For instance, a traditional portrait, still life, and landscape that are painted with acrylics or oils onto a canvas can be beautifully enhanced with simple and yet high quality framing materials.
Another alternative that is truly classic and elegant is a flat frame, which is – as its name suggests – a type of frame where a slight space exists (that is, the float) between the inside edge of the frame and the canvas. This provides the piece with a perspective that is recessed. The attachment between the canvas and the frame is at the back, instead of using a bit of a lip to cover the edge of the canvas at the front.
Among the primary advantages to using that style is that 100 percent of the artwork is exposed to the viewer, while the piece remains protected and highlighted within the quality materials. It allows the entire piece to be visible to the viewer, and yet it cannot be directly touched. Moreover, the acrylic can provide added protection against UV damage, to extend the life of the piece. The style, itself can provide a very sophisticated and graceful look which has made it highly popular in contemporary décor.
Read more about Framing Canvas Paintings at AmericanFrame.com.
Laura Jajko is President of Marketing at AmericanFrame.com, the nation’s leading online source for custom frames, mat board, archival digital printing services and picture framing supplies. For inspiring picture framing and design ideas, visit her blog, A Good Frame of Mind; and join her on Twitter @laurajajko and Google+.