canvases and tablecloths

note: I will soon update this page with the connection to the canavas of “Isabella d’Este”

Tablecloth and the transition to canvas.

Tablecloth in historic paintings.

Claudio Seccaroni; 2018
244 canvases with a pattern!

Titian The Supper at Emmaus (1530)

Titian The Supper at Emmaus, 1530

Titian painted a tablecloth in this painting

10 years later he painted The Vendramin Family (1540-45) on a canvas with a pattern

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

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 could be a left over, piece of this canvas.

note: there is a great similarity between these three patterns; after analysing them it shows that none of these are identical which means that they all had a different threading in the loom


Burgundian The Last Supper (1515)

Burgundian, 1515. “The Last Supper”. Middle panel of the Eucharist triptych. Oil on panel. Autun, Musée Rolin.

have a look at the pattern of the tablecloth (amplified in the circle)

a tablecloth and a canvas

on the left a tablecloth, owned by Jan Bustin and found on a flee market, on the right a canvas in a painting by Francisco Correia, 1600, a portugues painter (source Thesis by Rita Maltieira)
The patterns look very similar but after analysing I found that there are more ‘lines’ in the pattern of the canvas.
from left to right: a tablecloth, owned by Jan Bustin, a canvas of a painting by Francisco Correia c 1600,(source Rita Maltieira, thesis) and a painted tablecloth “La Cene” tryptique d’Autun, 1515 have a very similar pattern.
…find the differences
note: in the 3th draft I assumed the same numbers as in the two other drafts, but that is of course hypothetic…

they all have a very similar pattern: a tablecloth, owned by Jan Bustin, a canvas of a painting by Francisco Correia c 1600,(source Rita Maltieira, thesis) and a painted tablecloth “La Cene” tryptique d’Autun, 1515, photograph courtesy ofée-Rolin/320952957931371

This story started with finding the thesis ‘A tela na pintura Portuguesa. Materiais e técnicas,do século XV ao século XIX’ by Rita Maltieira.

It was here where I found for the first time that a Portuguese painter had painted on a canvas with a pattern.

source: thesis by Rita Maltieira
a publication about the painting on the patterned canvas
Francisco Correia painted “Alegoria à Imaculada Conceição” (1600) on a canvas with a pattern.
The painting is located in the ‘Mosteiro de S. Miguel de Refojos de Basto

After having published this on my Facebook page, I received photographs from a tablecloth with a very similar pattern, that is owned by Jan Bustin, he bought it on a Belgium flee market.

tablecloth , owned by Jan Bustin

Patricia Hilts has done an amazing work on translating the earliest weaving manual , ‘Weber Kunst und Bild Buch’ by Marx Ziegler (1674)

and has published this in Ars Textrina, volume thirteen, december 1990

reproduction of the two earliest books on weaving by Patricia Hilts

Here I found a graphic of a pattern similar to both the 17th century canvas as well as the tablecloth, which led me to the Autun triptych.

D.M. Mitchell: ‘By Your Leave my Masters: British Taste in Table Linen in the Fifteenth and Sixteenth Centuries; Textile History, 20 (1), 49-77. 1989
first analyses on the tablecloth, owned by Jan Bustin and the canvas as used by Francisco Correia in 1600, they are not exactly the same

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