feeling grateful …

Marion F. Mecklenburg, Senior Research Scientist at the Smithsonian Museum Conservation Institute wrote this recommendation on the research and reconstructions at Lab O.

“When I first encountered Helena Loermans’ research on the reconstruction of historic canvases at Lab O I was somewhat taken aback. It was such an obvious method to merge the historic textile industry technology to the canvas supports used on paintings. Yet this connection is rarely discussed in the conservation community.  It encouraged me to reassess my understanding of historical weaving and recognize that artists had access to textiles having rather complex weave geometries. Further her actual recreation of the sophisticated textiles early painters used as painting supports clearly shows what would otherwise be difficult for the average viewer to see.”

Marion F. Mecklenburg, PhD

….the world is reaching out to Odemira !

….the world is reaching out to Odemira !Requests for publishing about Lab O’s research and reconstructions of historic canvases came to Odemira from the Museum Conservation Institute; Smithsonian Institution and Princeton University.

Grateful that the Old Masters continue ‘knocking at the doorstep’ of a local workshop….

Stay tuned!

‘green light’

…’green light’ for analysing more textile fragments in cooperation with the Textile Conservation Department of the Metropolitan Museum.Weave drafts will be generated from high resolution- and micro photographs of these textiles to compare with patterns in historic canvases.

Stay tuned!

15th century fragment in the Met’s collection

…a ‘mistake’ that helped me to deciphere a pattern in two El Greco’s paintings…

Saint Martin and the Beggar and Madonna and Child with Saint Martina and Saint Agnes are painted on a support canvas with a complex pattern.

Analyses of the X-ray images of both paintings show that the pattern of the canvases are identical.

Both canvases show a ‘mistake’ in the same spot!

The ‘mistake’ that shows up in the xray of the textile is the result of the fact that the first treadle of the loom has shaft six attached: this shaft should not be lifted in that weft pass.

It helped me to be more secure of the reconstruction of the pattern and to write the weave draft.

Another intersting aspect is that the weave draft is the same as for the support canvas of El Greco’s The Burial of the Count of Orgaz and Alonso Sánchez Coello’s Infanta Isabel and Magdalena Ruiz but the above mentioned ‘mistake’ does not appear in these canvases.

El Greco Saint Martin and the Beggar 1597-99
National Gallery of Art Washington
X-ray image of the canvas of El Greco’s Saint Martin and the Beggar 1597-99
Courtesy National gallery of Art Washington
weave draft of the pattern of
El Greco’s Saint Martin and the Beggar
weave draft of El Greco’s Madonna and Child with Saint Martina and Saint Agnes 1597 -99

El Greco, Madonna and Child with Saint Martina and Saint Agnes, 1597-99
National Gallery of Art Washington

Another intersting aspect is that the weave draft is the same as for the support canvas of El Greco’s The Burial of the Count of Orgaz and Alonso Sánchez Coello’s Infanta Isabel and Magdalena Ruiz but the above mentioned ‘mistake’ does not appear in these canvases.
Another intersting aspect is that the weave draft is the same as for the support canvas of El Greco’s The Burial of the Count of Orgaz and Alonso Sánchez Coello’s Infanta Isabel and Magdalena Ruiz but the above mentioned ‘mistake’ does not appear in these canvases.

El Greco Vista y Plano de Toledo

Vista y Plano de Toledo 1610

Museu del Greco Toledo

Vista y Plano de Toledo 1610
detail of the support canvas x-ray image with pattern analyses on top , deciphering the pattern at Lab O
weave draft generated at Lab O :woven on a loom with 14 shafts and 14 threadles ; repeat of 50 warps and 50 wefts
source: Carmen Garrido ; Cuad. Art. Gr., 40, 2009, 53-6

Alonso Sánchez Coello and El Greco both used a support canvas with the same woven pattern …

two paintings on a canvas with the same woven pattern

1585-1588

(thread count known of only one painting)

reconstruction of the support canvas of The Buril of the Count of Orgaz 1586-88 El Greco,(©photo João Mariano) the same pattern is found in the canvas of Infanta IsabelClara Eugenia and Magdalena Ruiz 1585-
xray of support canvas (Alonso Sánchez Coello) and weave draft of support canvas (El Greco)
X-Ray image courtesy and authorisation Museo Nacional del Prado P00861 authorization Museo Nacional del Prado ©

—————————————————————————-

Infanta Isabel Clara Eugenia and Madalena Ruiz ; Alonso Sánchez Coello (1585-1588)

and

The Burial of the Count of Orgaz ; El Greco (1586-1588)

are both painted on a support canvas with the same woven pattern

x-ray ©Prado Museum P861

The weave draft is interesting because of half of the repeat is threaded in 12 shafts while the other half in 11 shafts.

Weave draft for both canvases

Full weave draft for both canvases.

O Alonso Sánchez Coello viveu em Portugal.A obra “Infanta Isabel Clara Eugénia com Magdalena Ruiz” é sobre uma tela suporte com padrão complexo tecido. Analises no Lab O revelaram que é o mesmo padrão do que a tela suporte da tela “The Burial of the Count of Orgaz”; El Greco.Ambas pintadas nos anos 1585-88.Coincidência?

Publicado na página do Museu de Arte Antiga:

“Venha descobrir a OBRA CONVIDADA “Infanta Isabel Clara Eugénia com Magdalena Ruiz” de Alonso Sánchez Coello que pertence ao Museo Nacional del Prado, Madrid. Em exposição na sala 60/Galeria de Pintura Europeia até 2 de janeiro de 2022.Esta obra integra-se na tradição do retrato de corte criado em meados do século XVI, seguindo o modelo definido por Anthonis Mor, ao representar os membros da Casa de Áustria, e adaptado na Península Ibérica por Alonso Sánchez Coello.Nascido perto de Valência, Coello mudou-se com a família para Portugal, onde iniciou a sua educação artística. D. João III custeou, em 1550, a sua viagem à Flandres, onde foi discípulo de Anthonis Mor. Ao regressar a Lisboa, c. 1552, trabalhou para o príncipe D. João e para a sua mulher, D. Joana, irmã de Filipe II, que, quando enviuvou, regressou a Espanha. Em 1555, Sánchez Coello levou-lhe à corte, em Valladolid, um retrato do seu filho, o futuro rei D. Sebastião. O pintor não regressaria já a terras lusas.A figura da infanta, com uma das mãos apoiada na cabeça de Magdalena Ruiz, remete para outros retratos femininos da dinastia dos Habsburgos. A inclusão da imagem paterna – um retrato dentro do retrato, reproduzindo o busto em alabastro de Pompeo Leoni – servia para reforçar o porte majestático do modelo. A presença da anciã – uma criada muito próxima, vinculada à corte espanhola durante o reinado de Carlos V e de Isabel de Portugal – é igualmente um elemento que reforça o sentido da tradição e da continuidade familiar.A composição revela, por outro lado, curiosas referências filoportuguesas: a infanta exibe uma indumentária com as cores do cerimonial luso (ouro sobre branco) e Magdalena Ruiz – que, em 1581, acompanhara Filipe II a Portugal – ostenta, por sua vez, um colar de coral – eventual recordação dessa viagem – e sustém entre as mãos dois pequenos macacos, oriundos da América amazónica.”