Diego Velázquez

The Education of the Virgin

Saint John in the Wilderness

The Supper at Emmaus

The Education of the Virgin

Diego Velázquez has painted ‘The Education of the Virgin’ (1616-17) on a canvas with a woven pattern.
(not to scale)
The painting is in the collection of Yale University Art Gallery
handwoven reconstruction of the canvas at Lab O
a sample of this canvas is in Yale University’s Institute for the Preservation of Cultural Heritage 

The Story:

When I knew that I was invited to present my work at the Conserving Canvas Symposium, organized by The Getty Foundation at Yale University Art Gallery, I searched in their collection and found this publication. Curiously it was possible to preview six pages. I was lucky to find written in the last paragraph of the sixth page that this painting is on a canvas with a pattern.

A request to the department of paintings conservation was answered by receiving a high quality X-ray image

X-radiograph courtesy of Yale University Art Gallery ‘The Education of the Virgin’ (1617-18)

analysing the X-ray image anabled me to decipher the repeat. Once it was a complex pattern, I started to use colour pencils to locate repetitions

I have worked weaving draft, computer generated in Weavelt, a handweaving design software program.

The reconstruction of the original canvas has been woven on an AVL Compu Dobby loom

The painting is located at Yale University Art Gallery

Saint John in the Wilderness

Diego Velázquez has painted ‘Saint John in the Wilderness’ (ca 1622) on a canvas with a woven pattern.
(not to scale)
The painting is in the collection of the Art Insitute of Chicago
handwoven reconstruction of the canvas at Lab O
a sample of this canvas is at the Paintings Conservation department at the AIC

The story

After the reconstruction I made from El Greco’s painting, I was curious to find out if more paintings were on a patterned canvas.

I found this publication where a graphic of the pattern of the canvas was published

A 17th centuries weaving book, considered the very first weaving manual and the the website , published by Kris Bruland, www.handweaving.net was of great help

The computer generated weaving draft was created with Weavelt, a handweaving design software program.

handwoven reconstruction of the original canvas , woven on an AVL Compu Dobby loom connected to a Mac Plus device

The Supper at Emmaus

Diego Velázquez has painted ‘The Supper at Emmaus’ (1620) on a canvas with a woven pattern.
(not to scale)
The painting is in the collection of The Metropolitan Museum of Art
reconstruction of the canvas at Lab O
a sample of this canvas is at the Paintings Conservation department of The MET

Research is about finding more and more and more…

I came accross this article in The MET Journal.

I wrote to the textile conservator at the MET ; I knew her as a member of CIETA , and received this high quality X-ray image

X-radiograph courtesy of
The Metropolitan Museum of Art, bequest of Benjamin Altman 1913 The Supper at Emmaus
(1622-23)

This pattern has a larger repeat and it was more difficult to decipher…

I think I managed to generate the draft.

Note: the rules of weaving also helped me to generate the draft, the extension of the threading may be large but the ‘limited’ lift plan, right upper corner, shows also the ‘logic’ in a pattern

Weaving draft, computer generated in Weavelt, a handweaving design software program.

Handwoven reconstruction of the original canvas @ Lab O