virtual Studio   References   Workshops   Styles of Frames   History   Collection   Gallery    
Selected Reference Projects    
Albertina, Vienna
Old Pinakothek, Munich
Augsburg Town Hall
Cuvilliés Theatre, Munich
Felix Nußbaum House, Osnabrück
Franciscan Church, Salzburg
Frauenkirche, Munich
Hirschhorn Museum, Washington
Hotel Elephant, Weimar
Art Museum Basel
Art Hall Bremen
Art Hall Karlsruhe
Art Hall Kassel
Art Hall Mannheim
Art Hall Nuremberg
Kurpfalz Museum, Heidelberg
Liechtenstein Museum, Vienna
Lenbach House, Munich
Marburger University Museum
Mauritshuis, Den Haag

Minneapolis Institute of Arts
Museum Ulm
Museum Villa Stuck, Munich
New Pinakothek, Munich
Pfalz Gallery Kaiserslautern
Private Collections
- Sandro Botticelli "Madonna"
- Michelangelo Pistoletto "About the Mirror"
Restaurant Roma, Munich
Salzburger Baroque Museum
Collection Dr. August Oetker
Collection Frieder Burda
Collection Georg Schäfer
Collection Walter Scharf
State Museum Berlin
State Museum Kassel
Städel Museum, Frankfurt
Wallraff-Richartz Museum, Cologne
Veste Coburg
Press releases
Special projects

The Städel Museum, Frankfurt
Old Masters Picture Gallery

Jan van Eyck
"The Lucca Madonna"

Reconstruction of the Frame Setting for
The Städel Museum, Frankfurt am Main

“No other painting by Jan van Eyck conveys such an immediate sense of intimacy between the observer and the figure represented as the Lucca Madonna, named after one of its previous owners. In addition to the insightful observation of the emotional relationship between mother and child, the masterful use of light and shadow and, above all, the apparently incidental but in fact highly sophisticated depiction of space in the painting create this effect. The precious oriental carpet on the floor continues into the perceived space, just as the windows piercing the walls and the rib vault of the ceiling of the throne room extend beyond the frame. The observer does not experience this picture as if viewing a theatrical scene, as is the case with the Madonna panel by Petrus Christus. Instead, the viewer is drawn into the very space in which the Queen of Heaven is nursing her godly child.”
(Dr. Jochen Sander)

The reproduction of the framework for the painting by van Eyck arose from Dr. Jochen Sander and the Pfefferle company working together in close co-operation.

An original frame of a comparable picture by van Eyck hanging in the national painting collections in Dresden was used as a master copy. There the setting was studied exhaustively and transferred to the frame for the Städel museum. The basecoat consists of a special crackle whiting in order to imitate the antique surface in the best possible way. The setting itself is a painted marbling as was usual for this period.

Jan van Eyck, ca 1390 - 1441
The Lucca Madonna framed
Tempera and oil on oak, 66 x 50 cm
Frame: Painted marbling on a special crackle whiting base

Detail of the marbled setting

State Museum in Kassel
Old Masters Picture Gallery

Peter Paul Rubens and Jan Brueghel the Elder
"Pan und Syrinx"

Reconstruction of a picture frame from our collection for the State Museum in Kassel

“In 2002 the State Museum in Kassel  was successful in obtaining in the most important acquisition of the past 100 years for the Old Masters Picture Gallery: Pan and Syrinx, ca. 1617 by Peter Paul Rubens and Jan Brueghel the Elder produced as a joint work of art…”  Extract from the brochure of the exhibition: "Pan and Syrinx – An Erotic Hunt"

An original frame from our collection was used as a model for the reconstruction of this picture frame.  As the original frame seemed to be too massive for the painting, it was decided to reduce proportionally the profile of the reconstruction by one centimetre.  The circumferential gilded ornamental staves were correspondently scaled down and carved finely and filigree from linden wood by our sculptor. Just like the original frame, the reconstructed frame consists of a specially prepared blank frame made from soft pinewood on which a moulding made from pear wood with mitred joints is glued.  The carved ornaments are bole gilded, the main moulding from pear wood is stained dark.
The exhibition lasts from 19th March 13th June 2004

The Frame-making Process

Peter Paul Rubens und Jan Brueghel the Elder
Pan and Syrinx, ca.1617, oil on wood,
Hand-carved ornamental staves from linden wood, gold-leafing on red-clay dark-tinted pear wood.

The fine detail of the circumferential composition ornaments.

Albertina, Vienna

Albrecht Dürer
“Dead European Roller” and “Wing of a European Roller”

Reconstruction of a picture frame from our collection for the Albertina Museum in Vienna

A completely new frame concept under the management of the current director Klaus Albrecht Schröder was developed for the world-famous collection belonging to the Albertina museum in Vienna.

In museums up till now, graphic illustrations were predominantly shown framed in white passé partout with narrow, natural wooden frames, but Karl Albrecht Schröder switched over to having historically suitable frames specially commissioned for the artwork in the Albertina museum.

In this way, in the meantime, more that 200 pieces of art have been framed by our workshop, as shown by these examples: “Wing of a European Roller” and “Dead European Roller” by Albrecht Dürer.

Albrecht Dürer, Dead European Roller, 1512
Albrecht Dürer, Wing of a European Roller, 1512

Detail of the embossed frame.

Pfalz Gallery Kaiserslautern

Arnold Böcklin
"Nessus und Deianira"

Reconstruction of a picture frame for the
Pfalz Gallery Kaiserslautern

For the occasion of the exhibition “Grotesque! 130 years of The Art of Impertinence” in the Schirn Art centre in Frankfurt, the painting “Nessus and Deianira” by Arnold Böcklin (1898, timber panel, 104 x 150 cm) was newly framed. The frame had not only to meet the historical requirements put upon it, but also be adapted to the proportion and size of the painting. A foliate motif frame was decided on with the three-dimensional ornamentation decoration that Böcklin preferred for his pictures, the only model for the frame being the illustration of a Böcklin picture in an exhibition catalogue. The frame with all its individual production steps was custom-made in the Pfefferle workshops. The carpenters’ workshop produced the work drawings and ground special, purpose-made cutters with which to carve the basic profile. Leaf ornamentations by our sculptor were carved into the blank moulding consisted of plain and profile frames.  The preparation of the undersurface was particularly complex as it was important to retain the sharp outlines of the ornamentation (see also Workshops). Finally the frame, overlaid in gold leaf, was tinted. Tinting particularly requires a lot of experience: if it fails in the first processing step, the framework must again be gilded.

The Frame-making Process

Arnold Böcklin, Nessus und Deianira, 1898, oil on wood. Hand-carved foliate motif frame made from linden wood,  gold-leaf on red bole

Detail of the hand-carved Acanthus-foliage ornamentation.

Old Pinakothek, Munich

Martin Schaffner
"Altar Painting"

Re-framing of the winged alter for the Old Pinakothek in Munich

The multi-part, winged altar was painted by Martin Schaffner (ca 1478-1549) for the High Altar of the Augustiner-Chorherren-Stiftskirche in Wettenhausen.  The tablets are dated and originated in the years 1523-24. At the end of the 17th century the painting was replaced by a baroque altar, and in 1803 following secularisation it entered into state hands. In the 1960s the painting was again re-framed on request of the Bavarian State Painting Collection. A preserved, historical frame mounting for a Schaffner altar in the district of Ulm served as master copy. The outlines are gold-leafed on a bole foundation. The filigree rosettes and the stylised leaf ornamentations were produced by our sculptor. The patterned area is especially accentuated due to the blue-pigmented underlay.

Martin Schaffner, High Altar of Wettenhausen near Ulm, 1523 - 1524. Cassetta frame with gilded outlines. The blue under-laid patterned area is decorated with stylised leaf ornamentation. The filigree, openwork shapes are  hand-carved from linden wood.

Augsburg Town Hall

Reconstruction of the picture frames in the Golden Hall

For the restoration and reconstruction of the interior decorations of the “Golden Hall” (one of the most important examples north of the Alps of the transition from the Renaissance to the Baroque style forms) in the Augsburg Town Hall, which were totally destroyed during the 2nd World War, the Pfefferle establishment took over the reconstruction of the picture frames. During the war, the pictures were stored elsewhere but the frames made of walnut wood were burnt during an air raid. The work involved demanded extensive investigation as there was only a poor-quality photo in existence. The frames had to be fitted exactly between the wood-panelled walls and the coffered, recess-panelled ceiling.

Artwork over the wall panels in the „Golden Hall", Augsburg Town Hall, Elias Holl, 1615-1620

Kurpfalz Museum, Heidelberg

Jakob Jordaens
"Holy Family"

Reconstruction of a picture frame from our collection for the Kurpfalz Museum, Heidelberg

In 2002 the painting “Holy Family“ by Jakob Jordaens was re-framed by the Pfefferle Frame-making Workshop. The picture frame was chosen on the basis of photomontages (compare: virtual studio). This way, the picture did not have to be transported from Heidelberg to Munich and back. The reconstructed frame was delivered to the museum in such a way that the painting only had to be inserted.

The image on the left shows the finished Jakob Jordaens painting, framed by the Pfefferle Workshop in 2002.

Cuvilliés Theatre, Munich

Total construction supervision for the restoration of the Cuvilliés Theatre in Munich

In 1956 the House of Pfefferle received the total construction supervision for the restoration of the settings of the Cuvilliés Old Residence Theatre in Munich, which had been completely destroyed in 1944. Otto Meitinger, who was the then executive director of the Residence construction committee and later plenary Professor for Design and Conservation of Historic Buildings at the Technical University of Munich, wrote: “The reconstruction of the Cuvilliés Residence Theatre was undoubtedly the most interesting task in rebuilding the Munich Residence, and furthermore was arguably also the highest regarded conservation project in Bavaria in the first post-war decades.”

The fully restored Cuvilliés Theatre

Felix Nußbaum House
, Osnabrück

Re-framing of the Felix Nußbaum Collection for the
Felix Nußbaum House in Osnabrück

In the years 1996-1998, 34 paintings and over 70 sketches by Felix Nußbaum were framed by the Pfefferle Workshop. Felix Nußbaum (1904-1944) began his artistic career in Willy Jaeckel’s studio in Berlin; later he became a master apprentice to Hans Meid. In 1944 he was murdered in the Auschwitz concentration camp. In 1996 the architect Daniel Libeskind build a museum for Felix Nußbaum in Osnabrück, in which many motifs are suggestive of the building of the Jewish Musuem in Berlin.


Felix Nußbaum
Self-portrait with easel,
oil on canvas, ca 1933

Franziscan Church, Salzburg

Restoration and reconstruction of Johann Fischer von Erlach's High Alter

In 1939 the House of Pfefferle was assigned the contract for the restoration of the interior and the fittings of the Franciscan Church in Salzburg. The focus of the restoration was the renovation of Johann Fischer von Erlach’s High Altar from the year 1709/10.  In this project, Karl Pfefferle, father of the current owner of the firm, strove to carry out a careful restoration. As far as possible the original mountings were uncovered and conserved.


High Alter of the Franciscan Church in Salzburg
Left image condition in 1939;
Right image condition now.

Museum Villa Stuck, Munich

Franz von Stuck
"Temptation of Saint Anthony"

The re-framing of the picture for the Museum Villa Stuck in Munich

The Munich Symbolist / Expressionist painter and sculptor Franz von Stuck (1863-1928) displayed his artwork in elaborate frames which he designed himself. A typical Stuck frame, of which several can be found in the Pfefferle collection, is the flat frame with wavy borders. “With the help of the framework surfaces, for example, Stuck was able to create extensive light and dark contrasts between the picture and the frame, continue the vertical and horizontal lines of the structure of the painting, or even counter-balance extreme picture formats and asymmetrically positioned picture compositions” (Eva Mendgen). For the picture “The Temptation” there was no documented frame type. By means of using 1:1 models, Karl Pfefferle reconstructed the effects of variations in framework on the painting. As it was a reconstruction, a frame was decided on which corresponded to the historical perceptions but did not lay claim to display the artwork in a new way. The surface is layered with glossy imitation gold. The metallic gold gloss reflects light into the areas of shadow in the painting and bestows the women’s bodies with a warm luminosity, a dramatic effect that Stuck applied quite consciously, e.g. in his chief work “The Sin”.

Franz von Stuck, The Temptation of Saint Anthony, 1918. Flat frame with wavy outlines modelled on Stuck’s frame concepts


Three possible variations for the framework according to Franz von Stuck’s frame concepts

Private Collection

Sandro Botticelli
"Madonna with Child"

Re-framing the picture

After an extensive restoration of the picture, the owners decided to have the picture re-framed. Style and geography demanded the use of a Tabernacle frame. However, there are so many lavish variations and forms in this type of frame that is was necessary to give a lot of thought as to how far the reconstruction of such a frame was allowed to become a separate architectural entity in its own right. “In all cases in which there are no essential designs or photographs of the original picture frame available, I tend to choose a preferably simple and scaled down framework in keeping with the authentic characteristics of the established period of the painting’s creation. In the case at hand, a relatively unostentatious Tabernacle frame from our collection was used as master copy. "The ornamentation shapes were taken from the Tabernacle frame of the picture “Madonna with Child” by Leonardo da Vinci.” (Karl Pfefferle)

New framework: Sandro Botticelli,
Madonna with Child
Simple Tabernacle frame with chased ornamentation on the sides of the frame

Cafe und Restaurant Roma, Munich

The café-restaurant Roma lies on Munich’s famous saunter promenade: Maximilian Street. It was restyled in 2001 according to drafts by the designer Ingo Maurer. A focal point of the décor is the extra-large crystal glass mirror, designed and crafted by the Pfefferle Frame-making Workshop. The Karl Pfefferle Gallery fitted out the rooms with works by, among others, Jiri Georg Dokoupil, A.R. Penck and Elvira Bach. The paintings were framed in such a way as to suit the interior decoration as well as the showing the artwork to its best advantage.

View into the café-restaurant Roma after reconstruction by Ingo Maurer with pictures from the Pfefferle Gallery and frames from the Pfefferle Frame-making Workshop

Hotel Elephant, Weimar

Entire logistics (pictures, framing and hanging) of the collection of modern art

The Hotel Elephant in the historical old market of Weimar enjoys worldwide standing. In his novel “Lotte in Weimar” Thomas Mann created an unforgettable memorial to the hotel. Founded in the 16th century, it became a favoured meeting place for artists and poets during the Weimar Classical period, and remained the centre point of social and cultural life in the flourishing era of the Weimar academy up to the years of the Weimar Republic. During the 1930s the building was converted by the National Socialists, and after the 2nd World War it served as a luxury hotel for the new nomenclature. When in 1992 the Munich entrepreneur Jochen Conradi and Karl Pfefferle drew up a concept for the conversion and renovation of the building, it was a concern of theirs not only to maintain the romantic tradition of the hotel but also (together with artists of the East-West-Dialogue and contemporary art and also by utilizing the works of the former ostracized Classic Modern) to give a forceful retort to the schism of German history of the last century. The Karl Pfefferle Gallery as art consultant took over the selection and the purchase of the artworks. The Karl Pfefferle Frame-making Workshop developed special frameworks for the project and took over the logistic and on-site hanging of the paintings. The valuable collection covers works by Adamski, Anzinger, Bach, Beckmann, Baselitz, Chia, Condo, Dokoupil, Feininger, Fetting, Hödicke, Hofer, Hornemann, Lüpertz, Penck, Strawalde, Szczesny, Tannert and Zimmer.

According to Karl Pfefferle’s concept, the Hotel Elephant was furnished with works of contemporary art. In the restaurant "Anna Amalia" hangs the 10-part xylography series "Mykonos Smiles" by Markus Lüpertz. A new kind of frame was especially devised for the hotel.

Works by artists of the Classic Modern period hang in the Frantz Liszt Bar.