a closer look at the canvas of “Isabella d’Este” (1536) and a tablecloth in “Supper at Emmaus” (1530) both by Titian

similar lines in the pattern of the canvas of “Isabella d’Este” 1536 and in the painted tablecloth in “The Supper at Emmaus” 1530

reconstruction of the canvas of “Isabella d’Este” 1536
the pattern of the tablecloth in “The Supper at Emmaus” 1530 (painting on a plain weave canvas)
“The Supper at Emmaus” 1530 (painting on a plain weave canvas) by Titian
“Isabella d’Este” 1536 (painted on a canvas with a pattern) by Titian

No connection in the lines of the patterns of the canvases of “The Vendramin 1540-45 Family” and “Isabella d’Este” 1536

Close examination of the weave drafts reveals the differences

weave draft of the canvas of “The Vendramin Family” 1540-45
weave draft of the canavs of “Isabella d’Este” 1536

I will soon publish about the connection in the pattern of a textile find in the Oxburg Hall restauration, stay tuned!

…seeing lines between a textile in The Oxburgh Hall Finds and a tablecloth pattern, painted by Titian …

…I could not be more grateful for coming accros this interesting lecture by Anna Forrest and The Warburg Institute from december 2020.

Textile finds are part of these discoveries.

At the Warburg Youtube page is written: “Anna Forrest (National Trust) examines how the recent discoveries at Oxburgh Hall shed light on the vibrant material culture of recusant Catholics at a time of persecution. As the Oxburgh Hall project is still in its early stages, this lecture presents a key opportunity to discover how curators go about analysing objects, and start to formulate conclusions, while a project is still evolving. Dr Tessa Murdoch from the Victoria and Albert Museum acts as respondent for this event.

screenshot from A Material World – Portable Devotion: ‘The Oxburgh Hall Finds’ presented by Anna Forrest
screenshot from A Material World – Portable Devotion: ‘The Oxburgh Hall Finds’ presented by Anna Forrest


Titian’s painting “The Supper at Emmaus” shows a tablecloth with a pattern.

In both analyses we only see the lines, I hope to receive higher quality pictures to analyse the textile piece that has been found recently in The Oxburgh Hall. An amazing story !!!

collectors / donators item

a canvas on a frame

175 € 
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Each untreated canvas comes on a frame 20 x 20 cm.

reconstruction of the canvas of (from top): El Greco The Burial of the Count of Orgaz  (1588); Titian The Vendramin Family (1543-45), Diego Velázquez Saint John in the Wilderness (1622) Diego Velázquez Supper at Emmaus 1620); Caravaggio The Crucifixion of Saint Andrew (1606-07) The Education of the Virgin (1616-17)

collectors / supporters item !

Lab O has been self funded and with support of family donors since 2014. Institutional support came in 2019 for research and a local exhibition. Travel grants made two important presentations possible in 2019.

If you consider to support the research and reconstruction please send an email to canvas@labo.pt or donate below

This box (8×8 cm) comes with a unique reconstruction of the canvas of the painting by:

Diego Velázquez Supper at Emmaus 1620)

Titian The Vendramin Family (1543-45)

El Greco The Burial of the Count of Orgaz (1588)


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Titian, a tablecloth with a pattern on a painting and a painting on a canvas with a pattern….

Could it be that he first painted the tablecloth on a plain weave canvas and after 10 years he painted on that tablecloth…..

Today I had a closer look to the tablecloth that Titian painted on “The Supper at Emmaus”. It shows (again) the importance of precisely analysing patterns, even if they are ‘only’ painted in a painting. I confess that the similarity in the patterns was a surprise to me and curiousely, I could have analysed this earlier.

I had the thought that he owned the tablecloth that he painted in “The Supper at Emmaus” (1530) and that he about 10 years later painted on that tablecloth “The Vendramin Family(1540-45)

Until today I had not precisely analysed it. I thought that a sample in the V&A collection, dated 1300 was a, left over, piece of this canvas. Beteween the latest 2 patterns is no match.

The pictures

-Titian painted the pattern of the tablecloth in “The Supper at Emmaus” (1530) the painting is on a plain weave canvas.

-Titian painted “The Vendramin Family” (1540-45) on a canvas with a pattern.

If we compare both patterns we see these similarities: compare the coloured lines ! Not sure about the 5 ‘spots’ in the tablecloth in the middle of each repeat but in the weave draft this could to be worked out very differently…

Titian “The Supper at Emmaus” ( 1530) photograph courtesy of C2RMF , the painting is on a plain weave canvas, loctaed in Musee du Louvre
analyses of the pattern of the painted tablecloth at Lab O
weave draft of the canvas of “The Vendramin Family”. analyses and reconstruction at Lab O
Titian, active about 1506; died 1576 The Vendramin Family, venerating a Relic of the True Cross about 1540-45 Oil on canvas, 206.1 x 288.5 cm Bought with a special grant and contributions from Samuel Courtauld, Sir Joseph Duveen, The Art Fund and the Phillips Fund, 1929. NG4452 https://www.nationalgallery.org.uk/paintings/NG4452

…is there a seam in historic canvases or is it impossible to see them ?

One of the reasons for using patterned canvases by the Old Masters is the width of these textiles. No or less seams were needed for the large paintings (literature sources)

I did a pilot and joined the selvedges of the reconstruction e.i. I joined each weft on both sides…visible because the selfedges of my textiles being irregular not because of being it a seam….

at Haarlem Artspace

today at 18.30 GMT

Free tickets: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/…/woven-ground-weaving… Geoff Diego Litherland, Angharad Mclaren, Helena Loermans and Marta Pokojowczyk discuss making and painting handwoven canvasses. Helena Loermans is a weaver who has been researching and recreating some of the canvasses that Velasquez, El Greco and others painted on, what’s unique about her work and research is that these canvasses have often been intricately patterned fabrics. She has been skilfully recreating these for conservation reasons and has worked with museums worldwide, uncovering a lost craft along the way. Loermans has also been collaborating with artist Marta Pokojowczyk in exploring the relationship to her canvasses and painting. Concurrent to Loermans research and practice Litherland and McLaren have been developing their own patterned woven canvasses to paint on, one of the focuses of the work is to highlight the importance and materiality of the fabric support for the painting. The event will include two short presentations from the artists before an in conversation where parallels will be discussed between the work, as well as the importance of learning from history and understanding and revisiting craft practices. Chaired by Haarlem Artspace Co – Director Catherine Rogers with time for audience questions.Thanks to Haarlem Artspace for inviting me

…looking at historic patterns and similarities…

left: weave draft of the canvas of El Greco’s paintings in the “Iglesia de la Caridad de Illescas” (17th century) Source xray image: Bruquetas 2002, p 239

right:weave draft of a 14th century textile preserved at Hildesheim Germany in the Church of St Godehard

source: Six, J. “Kruiswerk, Lavendel, Pavy en Pellen,” Het Huis, Oud & Nieuw, vol. 10 (1912), pp. 105-122.Medieval Textiles 31, 2002 Carolyn Priest-Dorman