Skip to main content



patterned canvas in Portugese masterworks and a tablecloth...

Recently I have found a publication by Rita Maltieira in which is shown that Portuguese Old Master painters also used a patterned canvas for their work. Until now I have only seen this patterned canvas in paintings from Spanish and Italian Old Masters.

I could not believe it when Jan Bustin, conservator in the Netherland, send me pictures of a tablecloth that he owns with , at first sight,  a very similar pattern. 

I will soon receive better quality pictures from the canvas and analyse both textiles to make sure it is the same pattern.

Both this two findings are very important, its may give another 'piece of the puzzle' in the story of painters canvas.

The canvas, hidden in plain sight, as in one of the comments, and for centuries and now with the topic question :'Why did they use this patterned canvas' ?
Stay tuned!

Latest posts


handwoven reconstruction of the support canvas from 'The Supper at Emmaus' Diego Velázquez


...started the reconstruction of Vélazquez' Supper at Emmaus support canvas...


... and then there were 3...


in honour to the Old Master ! handwoven in linen and gold thread

two Rembrandt paintings on a Herringbone canvas...but not the same textile...

Threading Titian's canvas....


Preparing the loom for the reconstruction of the canvas as used by Titian for 'The Vendramin Family'

..more about the book in Rembrandt's painting 'The Syndics'


textile samples from 1400-1500 in the Victoria & Albert Museum, i asked and received high quality pictures. They look so similar to the pattern of the canvases from Old Masters ( below a reconstruction of a canvas that Titian used, woven at Lab O )


look at the books of another Rembrandt's painting...