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Protecting Renaissance Engravings with Museum Glass

By Maureen O’Connor, Tru Vue® Marketing Manager

Today, on the 548th anniversary of his birth, Tru Vue® remembers the influential German painter and printmaker Albrecht Dürer, who was born May 21, 1471, in Nuremberg.



Having been pals with the likes of Raphael and Leonardo da Vinci, Dürer had a significant impact on the German Renaissance period. He died in 1528 at the age of 56. But five centuries later, a collection of his engraving masterworks have been again fully brought to life on the Mediterranean island of Malta, thanks to Tru Vue® Museum Glass®.



The Moment


Pictures & Frames, a custom framing shop in San Gwann, was approached by the prestigious Cathedral Museum in the nearby town of Mdina about framing one of the largest collections of Dürer’s engravings outside of Germany and comparable to the Royal Collection found in Windsor Castle. The Cathedral Museum’s collection includes Durer’s whole set of “The Life of the Virgin” on woodcuts and the full set of “The Small Passion” on copper plates.




The Design


To glaze this treasured collection of masterworks for the Cathedral Museum, Pictures & Frames director, Mario Martinelli, recommended using Museum Glass and provided samples of the glazing along with his suggested frame. The project was then approved by renowned scholar, Martin Royalton-Kisch, formerly the curator of the Dutch and Flemish prints at The British Museum London, and Pictures & Frames got to work.



“The Cathedral Museum wanted to make sure that the Dürer prints were as protected as much as possible,” Martinelli said about the choice to use Museum Glass, which provides 99% UV protection in addition to virtually eliminating reflections and providing optimal light transmission to brighten colors. The premium glazing is ideal for original works of art – particularly pieces as detailed as Durer’s engravings – and to protect items of monetary value.


These images are four of the pieces from the collection of “The Life of the Virgin”.




Clarity and Protection


Martinelli said that Pictures & Frames chose very basic frames for the pieces, keeping the focus on the artwork. And thanks to the anti-reflective properties of Museum Glass, every detail of the woodcut and copperplate prints pops clearly while being protected for posterity.



We’re always looking for an interesting framing story to feature on our site and share it with fellow framers. Tag @TruVueGlazing on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram to show us your latest creations!

This article is intended for educational purposes only and does not replace independent professional judgment. Statements of fact and opinions expressed are those of the author(s) individually and, unless expressly stated to the contrary, are not the opinion or position of Tru Vue or its employees. Tru Vue does not endorse or approve, and assumes no responsibility for, the content, accuracy or completeness of the information presented.

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