Showing posts from April, 2021

Titian, Caravaggio, El Greco, Velázquez, Rembrandt, Chagall... and Linen Tablecloths

Titian, The Supper at Emmaus , circa 1530 Analysis of the pattern of the tablecloth in the painting, courtesy of Helena Loermans A weaving drawdown similar to the tablecloth pattern A few months ago, I wrote a post about a weaving pattern known as "The Earl's Canvas" -- a 14-shaft Gebrochene design that had been discovered in a 17th-century painting of the second Earl of Mar in Scotland. The painting was of less interest to weavers, actually, than the pattern of the canvas itself, which had been a tablecloth, most likely linen. A linen tablecloth! I assumed that the poor artist had no choice but to use a table linen instead of a real canvas. Little did I know.  Recently, through a chance conversation with someone in a workshop I taught, I learned that there are many centuries-old paintings woven on tablecloths in similar patterns -- patterns that are described in weaving terminology as twill diaper design.  My friend pointed me to the writings of Helena Loermans , who re