Re: Resist Painting on Silk/Europe
Speaking of painting on silk, I have a question:
There's a painting of Sir Henry Lee, by Antonis Mor van Dashort, c. 1568
(available on Google--I can't attach the image to this email). The
gentleman is wearing white sleeves with a very complicated black pattern
that does not strike me as blackwork (because it's extremely regular in
repeat, but each separate part of the image is disconnected from the other
sections, the spacing between these sections is highly regular in repeate,
it doesn't at all use often-found blackwork motifs, and it's an outer sleeve
which I've never seen blackworked on a man).
I think it might be printed fabric. What do other people think?
> I think it might be printed fabric. What do other people think?I think it is definitely the fabric itself, not an embroidery. You
can see the pattern peaking through the slits, which would be a
strange place for embroidery since it's mostly hidden. Besides,
there's nothing in the painting to give the impression of depth that
you would get with something applied to the surface of the fabric
Does anyone know the significance of all of the rings? He has them
on his finger, on the cord around his neck and on the cords tied
around the elbow and wrist. I can't remember seeing anything like
- Regarding the Henry Lee portrait, I don't think it is
painted fabric, it has to much texture on the original
painting. I just returned from England and this is
one of the paintings my wife and I spent a lot of time
looking at in the National Portrait Gallery.
My opinion on the rings is that they are for
tournament victories. Henry Lee was Queen Elizabeth's
champion and was a know tournament winner. The giving
of rings as favors for tournament preformance is
Benedict Ashton, WSA - Ansteorra
Joe Rummel - Texas
--- Lady_Lark_Azure <jenniferanne21@...>
> > I think it might be printed fabric. What do other
> people think?
> I think it is definitely the fabric itself, not an
> embroidery. You
> can see the pattern peaking through the slits, which
> would be a
> strange place for embroidery since it's mostly
> hidden. Besides,
> there's nothing in the painting to give the
> impression of depth that
> you would get with something applied to the surface
> of the fabric
> like embroidery.
> Does anyone know the significance of all of the
> rings? He has them
> on his finger, on the cord around his neck and on
> the cords tied
> around the elbow and wrist. I can't remember seeing
> anything like
> that before.
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- At 3:17 PM +0000 5/20/04, Domenico wrote:
>Speaking of painting on silk, I have a question:Nonetheless, the needleworkers and Elizabethan costumers I know all
>There's a painting of Sir Henry Lee, by Antonis Mor van Dashort, c. 1568
>(available on Google--I can't attach the image to this email). The
>gentleman is wearing white sleeves with a very complicated black pattern
>that does not strike me as blackwork (because it's extremely regular in
>repeat, but each separate part of the image is disconnected from the other
>sections, the spacing between these sections is highly regular in repeate,
>it doesn't at all use often-found blackwork motifs, and it's an outer sleeve
>which I've never seen blackworked on a man).
seem to be pretty sure it's embroidery.
There are two possibilities I can think of. One is that this is his
shirt, and he is being painted (untypically) in his shirtsleeves for
some reason; perhaps because he is being shown specifically as
Elizabeth's champion, and tournaments where the knights take on
"alternate personas" are places where you'd expect to find somewhat
unusual clothing on the actors, often described as "masque clothing."
The conventions of masque clothing allow people to appear in public
in fewer layers of clothing than usual, including the showing of
garments (like shirts) that would ordinarily be considered
The other, more conventional, possibility is that these are simply
the sleeves of a white doublet, which he is wearing underneath a
black sleeveless jerkin.
In either case, we know from surviving garments that even a layer
that doesn't really show much on the outside can still be heavily
decorated all over -- shirts especially; we have several surviving
examples whose full glories were probably only visible in the
bedchamber :) So it's not too surprising to glimpse it peeking
through the slits.
It's true that we don't have a lot of pictures of white doublet
sleeves decorated with blackwork for men, as we do of white formal
sleeves with blackwork for women. However there are certainly many
pictures of men wearing _shirts_ that are obviously decorated with
blackwork, such as Thomas Howard, the Duke of Norfolk (portrait by
Hans Eworth), William Brooke, Lord Cobham (by an English School
painter), and Thomas, 2nd Baron Vaux (by Holbein), and of course the
very peculiar portrait of Sir Henry's brother Thomas Lee wearing his
shirt and very little else (by Marcus Gheeraerts, around 1594).
There are quite a few different styles of embroidery that are lumped
together as "blackwork," and not all of them are worked in "steps" or
by the counted-thread method. There are several styles that are
worked from flowing designs marked on the fabric, in backstitch, stem
stitch, or other stitches. For instance, the familiar style of
blackwork with large flowers with heavy dark outlines, with parts
filled in by various geometric "filling stitches", is an example --
and many of the filling patterns seem to have been worked "by eye"
and not by exact thread count. There are also patterns that outlined
in stem or chain stitch and are "shaded" by random "speckling" short
Blackwork is also _not_ always reversible, so patterns with detached
parts do appear relatively commonly -- if you look at the backs of
period examples, many were worked entirely or partly in backstitch,
rather than the reversible double-running stitch. Modern
needleworkers seem to be most fascinated by the reversible patterns
because they're an intellectual challenge, so you see those reprinted
in modern pattern books more often, but the other types are no less
typical in the surviving period pieces.
O (Lady) Christian de Holacombe
| Chris Laning <claning@...>
+ Shire of Windy Meads - Davis, California