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

…the canvases are travelling…

…not yet safe enough to travel by myself, but happy to write that the reconstructions of the canvases have travelled to be involved in cooperation with:

Factum Foundation for high resolution 3D images,

Glasgow University for mecanical stretch tests

and the Prado Museum for X-ray experiments…

Marc Chagall’s “Le Violoniste” (1912-13) Oil on a linen table-cloth with a woven pattern and blue stripes…

Photograph: Courtesy Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam

I look forward to receive more images from The Stedelijk Museum, or get permission to go by myself or have a student making detailed pictures so we can decipher the pattern and thereby preserve the textile knowledge of this canvas. Fingers crossed!

…I first found about this canvas in the Dutch TV show “Krabbé zoekt, a journey in Chagall’s footsteps”. Broadcast AVROTROS.

Although not allowed to see this program in Portugal, because of geographic location, I managed to catch some parts of the video and make a still. It was possible to get rough idea of the pattern.

note: the green lines are ‘sketched’ on top of the image to ‘see’ the pattern
the pattern and blue stripes are visible in the painting.

source text and picture below: https://www.stedelijk.nl/en/collection/753-marc-chagall-le-violoniste

Marc Chagall’s The Fiddler, completed just after moving to Paris from St. Petersburg, is a good representation of the artist’s work from this period. The fiddler as a subject is often found in Chagall’s work. The huge figure of the musician in this painting stands with one foot on the roof of a building, the other on a small hilltop which flattens out the picture plane. By including the homes in the background as well as the musician, this painting recalls memories of Russia. Chagall’s paintings realized during this time in Paris often portrayed scenes from Russia with inspiration from his new surroundings. Cubist influences can be seen in the series of flat planes and geometric shapes as well as in the non traditional perspective.

© Marc Chagall, c/o Pictoright Amsterdam/Chagall ®, Chagall is a registered trademark, owned by Comité Marc Chagall/Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam https://www.stedelijk.nl/en/collection/753-marc-chagall-le-violoniste


Can weave drafts give us an answer of weft and warp direction in a canvas without a selvedge?

Weave drafts of the canvas of Velázquez’s “Adoration of the Magi” (1619)

I tried to see the effect of switching the draft in the warp and in the weft. These pictures show the effect of ‘back and front view” and turning the ‘textile’ 90*

I will have to weave the textile to confirm if they are different or not.

Or do you think there are matches if we could see the black (warp) also as lines in the computer generated (Iweaveit) pictures ?

The reason for this puzzle is that it might give a more secure idea of warp and weft direction in canvases without a selvedge by assuming the most logic weave draft to work out on the loom….note: the drafts at the bottom are matching.

back- and front vieuw
90º switch
90º switch

El Greco’s “Disrobing of Christ” 1575-79 and ” The Burial of the Count of Orgaz” 1586-88 have a canvas that was made with the same pattern on the loom.

There is a difference of 4 threads in the weft repeat. The warp threading and lifting is the same in both textiles. The weaver has used a sequence that skipped 4 wefts in each repeat.

Disrobing of Christ: X-ray image, analyses and weave draft superimposed

Disrobing of Christ: X-ray image

Disrobing of Christ: ‘drawing’ the lines of the threads

Disrobing of Christ: hand drawing on square paper and suffering in trying to find the pattern

Disrobing of Christ: hand drawing on square paper

weft repeat of 52 passes,

Disrobing of Christ: computer generated weave draft. In the red circle is seen a difference with the draft of the textile of the canvas of The Burial of the Count of Orgaz.

Burial of the Count of Orgaz , weave draft, weft repeat 56 passes