The Warburg Institute

Thanks to The Warburg Institute for this message

“We are delighted to be able to offer you a full fee waiver for your place”

Here is what I wrote in the application for a bursary :

“Textile weave drafts are authentic codes.

The research and reconstruction of historic canvases with a woven pattern at Lab O, the laboratory for handwoven canvas, has already generated considerable interest within the world of technical art history and materiality.

Technical art history includes a great many publications on paintings, but there is a comparative lack of information on the canvas as a textile.

The first hand weaving manual dates from 1677, but the patterned textiles it describes had been woven from the 14th century onwards. A few historic textile fragments are preserved in the V&A and MET archives.

More than 250 painters’ canvases from the 16th and 17th centuries are on a canvas with a woven pattern.

Complex weave patterns were secrets guarded by the guilds.

I would like to enrol in this course in order to learn:

– whether complex weave patterns were memorised via secret communications;

– more about the role of the birth of printing in this process; and

– whether codes were used, other than graphic weave drafts.

I include an image showing paintings for which the weave draft, unique for each pattern, has already been recovered.

Lab O is a self-supporting research organisation. It would be a great honour to the Old Masters and of great assistance to Lab O if the Warburg Institute were to support this research with a bursary.

Even if this course comprises no direct relation to textiles, it will afford an improved understanding of communications in the period of research interest.

Helena Loermans / Lab O

Odemira, Portugal, 2022″

Thanks to Ralph de Rijke, language consultant, for corrections