El Greco, Saint Luke Painting the Virgin

Saint Luke Painting the Virgin 1560-67

Benaki Museum of Greek Civilization Athens

…tempera and gold on canvas attached to a panel

the canvas is woven in plain weave

© 2020 by The Art Institute of Chicago
El Greco: Ambition and Defiance 
weave draft of plain weave
2 shafts
2 treadles

personal information by Rocío Bruquetas:

“El caso de la tabla del Museo Benaki: Aquí el Greco está pintando según la tradición bizantina, en la que los soportes habituales son de madera. Estos soportes se preparaban con una tela encolada, después se aplicaban las capas de preparación de yeso, y después se pintaba.”

Google translate: The case of the panel in the Benaki Museum: Here El Greco is painting according to the Byzantine tradition, in which the usual supports are made of wood. These supports were prepared with a glued cloth, then the plaster preparation layers were applied, and then painted.

Rocío Bruquetas writes in Pintar para la Eternidad pagina 20, that El Greco used a technique for the altarpieces for Santo Domingo el Antiguo, 1577 , for El Expolio 1577‐1579 and El Entierro del Conde de Orgaz 1586‐1588

Rocio writes: “… los lienzos del siglo XVI y XVII : en este caso son pinturas realizadas sobre lienzos, previamente preparados con sus capas de imprimación. Y una vez pintados se llevaban al retablo (o paredes en las que iban a colocarse) y se tensaban y clavaban sobre los tableros.”

Google translate: …the 16th and 17th century canvases: in this case they are paintings made on canvas, previously prepared with their primer layers. And once painted, they were taken to the altarpiece (or walls where they were going to be placed) and they were stretched and nailed on the boards.

Other paintings in altarpieces by El Greco are the Assumption of the Virgin, Holy Trinity, Saint Martin and the Beggar, Madonna and Child  and View and Plan of Toledo

All these are on a patterned canvas!

Quote pagina 20:

UNA NOVEDAD: LA PINTURA SOBRE LIENZO Y SUS TABLEROS DE SOPORTE 

Los primeros ejemplos en suelo peninsular de pintura sobre lienzo ocupando cajas de retablos son los de la Basílica de El Escorial, contratados a Navarrete el Mudo en 1576, y los realizados por el Greco para Santo Domingo el Antiguo, cuya escritura es de 1577. Los lienzos de estos conjuntos, así como los del Expolio ( 1577‐1579 ) [FIG. 22] y El entierro del señor de Orgaz ( 1586‐1588 ) [FIG. 31], están tensados sobre unos tableros de cuarterones ensamblados a caja (« apeinazados ») formando un entablado…” end quote

Google translate:

“A NEW: PAINTING ON CANVAS AND ITS SUPPORT BOARDS

The first examples on peninsular soil of painting on canvas occupying altarpiece boxes are those of the Basilica of El Escorial, contracted to Navarrete el Mudo in 1576, and those made by El Greco for Santo Domingo el Antiguo, whose writing is from 1577. The canvases of these sets, as well as those of the Expolio (1577‐1579) [FIG. 22] and The Burial of the Lord of Orgaz (1586‐1588) [FIG. 31], they are stretched on panel boards assembled to a box (“peinazados”) forming a planking…” end quote