In the proposed research, the origin of canvas will be thoroughly examined by handweaving reconstructions of canvas, exploring newly developed technical imaging and stitching methods and applying highly advanced computational analysis on these images. In preliminary tests, as a run-up for this proposal, the viability of the proposed research was confirmed.
The research will provide knowledge and insight into the structure of the plain woven canvas of old master paintings. This will be achieved by connecting the structure of the canvas to the making of the canvas. The structure of the plain woven canvas is analysed by using highly advanced computational analysis, newly developed at the Rijksmuseum. This analysis visualises the composition of the handwoven canvas. The structure of canvas is, among other things, influenced by the way it was manufactured. This will be examined by handweaving linen canvas and executing a set of experiments in an effort to reconstruct the structure of handwoven canvas of old master paintings. These experiments will subsequently be analysed in the same way as the plain woven canvas of old master paintings. A comparison of these two sets of analysis will provide unique knowledge and insight into both the composition and the making of plain woven canvas of old master paintings.