Cartouche (design)

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For other uses, see Cartouche (disambiguation).
Italian design for a cartouche frame, 16th century

A cartouche (also cartouch) is an oval or oblong design with a slightly convex surface, typically edged with ornamental scrollwork. It is used to hold a painted or low relief design.[1]

In Early Modern design, since the early 16th century, the cartouche is a scrolling frame device, derived originally from Italian cartoccia. Such cartouches are characteristically stretched, pierced and scrolling (illustration, left). Another cartouche figures prominently in the title page of Giorgio Vasari's Lives, framing a minor vignette with a device of pierced and scrolling papery cartoccia (see illustration).

The engraved trade card of the London clockmaker Percy Webster (illustration, right) shows a vignette of the shop in a scrolling cartouche frame of Rococo design that is composed entirely of scrolling devices.

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Footnotes[edit]

  1. ^ Ching, Francis D.K. (1995). A Visual Dictionary of Architecture. New York: John Wiley and Sons. p. 183. ISBN 0-471-28451-3. 

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