The Mona Lisa Project

At the end of 2016, Kingswood were commissioned to make an exact replica of the frame that sits around one of the most recognised paintings in the world, DaVinci’s Mona Lisa.

Casting a frame like this would be difficult, so we opted to hand carve the entire frame.

To start the process, the design of the frame was drawn out to scale, along with a cross section of the profile to be machined. Rather than carving the frame as a whole piece we decided to break each pattern into individual sections that could be carved separately and joined together later.

Each pattern was then either traced or hand drawn on to the corresponding section, a process that alone took over 4 hours to complete.

The Gilding Process

Once carved and assembled, 5 coats of gesso were applied to the frame, which then had to be recut before being boled ready for gilding.

The gilding of the Mona Lisa frame took just over 8 hours to complete using 260 sheets of 22 carat gold leaf. Another 3 hours were then spent toning and distressing the frame to give it an aged look.

This beautiful frame took a little over 180 hours to complete from start to finish, although it has been a challenging yet worthwhile project.