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The art historian Dr. Tobias Schmitz has been an expert on historical picture frames for many years. His "Lexicon of European Picture Frames from the Renaissance to Neoclassicism" was published in German in 2003 and has proved indispensable as a standard reference book for restorers, antique dealers, gallerists, museum experts and auctioneers. The book was reviewed in the journals DER KUNSTHANDEL and RESTAURO.


Volume II was published in German in July 2006 as the "Lexicon of European Picture Frames: The 19th Century". This volume classifies and systemizes hitherto mainly unresearched 19th century picture frames from the periods of Neoclassicism, Biedermeier, Romanticism. Historicism and Jugendstil. Reviews of the book can be found in the journals RESTAURO and DER KUNSTHANDEL.


The award of the Lempertz Prize in 2006

On July 11th, 2006, the Author was awarded the Lempertz Prize of the traditional Cologne artgallery (http://www.lempertz.com) for his scientific contributions. His two volume dissertation "Analysis and Evaluation of Current Framing Procedures in Selected Museums" was judged to be distinguished work in the field of art history. The above named "Lexicon of European Picture Frames from the Renaissance to Neoclassicism" is part of that dissertation, which can also be ordered in print form from the author by e-mail or telephone.


Dr. Tobias Schmitz received the award from von Professor Henrik R. Hanstein of the Lempertz Art Gallery in the ceremonial hall of Bonn University.On the occasion of the award speeches were given by Professor Dr. Heijo Klein, the award winner's dissertationsupervisor, Professor Dr. Roland Kanz, head of the Institute for Art History, Professor Henrik R. Hanstein from the Lempertz art gallery, and the authorm who presented his dissertation (photo).

The press reported the award of the Lempert Prize as follows:

Articles left and top right: Soester Anzeiger, July 14th,2006
Article bottom right: Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, July 29th, 2006

Lectures and Expert assessment reports:

Dr. Tobias Schmitz has already made a name for himself as an expert on historical picture frames from the Renaissance to Jugendstil. He has been invited by numerous different institutions: Lectures/ Expert opinion reports

Museums, professional associations, colleges, universities, galleries, antique dealers, picture frame dealers, auction houses and frame manufacturers can engage Dr. Tobias Schmitz to hold lectures on picture frames or other art historical topics of their own choice, or have expert opinions compiled for their own frames.


Picture frame collection: Dr. Tobias Schmitz:

Dr. Tobias Schmitz has been collecting historical picture frames for many years. His main emphasis is on 19th century picture frames from Neoclassicism, through Biedermeier, Romanticism and Historicism to Jugentstil. Some frames in his collection can be seen on this website and are for sale.

Picture frames

Tobias Schmitz: The artist:

The art historian Tobias Schmitz is also a fine artist. He is mainly interested in oil painting. He paints mainly small format landscapes and city vedutes in the traditional oil painting style.
But anyone interested can also commission traditionally painted landscapes. Tobias Schmitz will paint your "personal painting" from a photograph of your choice (e.g. a holiday snap), and will readily support you in the search for a suitable picture frame.
For more information, contact:

Painting/ Graphics

Biographical data:

1993-1998 Study of art history at the Rhine Friedrich-Wilhelms-University in Bonn:

M.A. theme: "Historicising picture frames from Historicism to contemporary constructions", whereby, among others, historicist picture frames from about 1860 were examined: Italianate frames in Renaissance and Baroque styles for classical academic painting (Böcklin, Lenbach, Han Thoma, Hans von Marées…) and frames in the French Baroque style for impressionist painters (incl. Monet, Renoir, Liebermann, Slevogt and Corinth)

2000-2003 Doctorate:

PhD theme: "Analysis and evaluation of the contemporary picture framing measures of selected museums ", whereby framing measures during about the last 30 years were investigated at various European musieums from the aspect of authenticity in the domain of both old and new masters.

As part of the dissertation, the "Lexicon of European Picture Frames from the Renaissance to Neoclassicism" was published (in German), and is available from the author or in bookshops. For the first time, frame styles were systemized as a work of reference. They are described and illustrated in more than 500 drawings of frame corners and constructions. The texts about the frames are subdivided iinto categories including origin, profile, typical features, types of wood, construction, variant, framed genres and literature. The lexicon has proved useful for restorers, framers, museum experts and antique dealers.

2006: Award of the Hanstein Prize of the art auctioneer house Lempertz in Cologne:
The prize honourd the PhD as the best scientific work of the art historical institute of the university in Bonn during the previous 2 years.

Current activities:

o Freelance author of specialist publications
o Scientific lectures (e.g. for the Austrian society of restorers ÖRV and the book binder college in Stuttgart)
o Since 2008 scientific member of the IBKK "Institute for Training in Visual Art and Art therapy" in Bochum.
( www.ibkk- kunstzentrum.de)

o Lecturer in Italian and Spanish at the adult education centre in Solingen/Wuppertal and Mettmann/Wülfrath
o Translation of the 2nd volume of the lexicon into English
o Assembly of a collection of historical picture frames with emphasis on the 19th century
o Freelance artist

Most recent publication in July 2009:"Lexicon of European Picture Frames (Volume II), of the 19th Century, Neoclassicism, Biedermeier, Romanticism, Historicism, Jugendstil" and in November 2012 "Schmitz Compendium of European Picture Frames: Neoclassicism, Biedermeier, Romanticism, Historicism, Impressionism, Jugendstil"

both: 320 pages, 444 drawings of frame corners and photos of frames and constructions. For the first time trends and styles from between 1730 and 1930 have been systemized and presented in the form of a reference book.

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