Velázquez, The Education of the Virgin

The Education of the Virgin (1616-17)

Yale University Art Gallery New Haven

Diego Velázquez has painted ‘The Education of the Virgin’ (1616-17) on a canvas with a woven pattern. 
(not to scale)
The painting is in the collection of Yale University Art Gallery

photo: João Mariano

handwoven reconstruction of the canvas at Lab O
a sample of this canvas is in Yale University’s Institute for the Preservation of Cultural Heritage 

The Story:

After I was invited to present my work at the Conserving Canvas Symposium, organized by The Getty Foundation at Yale University Art Gallery, I searched in their collection and found the above publication. Curiously it was possible to preview six pages. I was lucky to find written in the last paragraph of the sixth page that this painting is on a canvas with a pattern. A request to the department of paintings conservation was answered by receiving a high quality X-ray image

X-radiograph courtesy of Yale University Art Gallery The Education of the Virgin (1617-18)

analysing the X-ray image enabled me to decipher the repeat.Because it was a complex pattern, I started to use colour pencils to locate the repetition of it

weave draft, computer generated in Weavelt, software developed to interface with computer-aided handlooms

The reconstruction of the original canvas has been woven on an AVL Compu Dobby loom