HNW - but is it blackwork?

Elizabeth A. Proudfit libbet at
Tue Jul 27 14:55:04 PDT 1999

Thank you Sarah, that was a very articulate explaination of what I have
come to consider Blackwork.

I have found a period term for "Holbein Work", but off the top of my head I
can't remember where.  I have found it called True work, as it was "true"
on both sides.  I have done this both counted and uncounted.

I was recently looking in a book of painting by Caravaggio, an Italian
painter from the late 1500's and early 1600's.He has Black work on several
of the women in his paintings.  Mind you they are religious paintings, so
the clothing might not be 100% correct, but "St. Catherine of Alexandria"
and "Mary Magdalen" both have something that looks alot like
Blackwork/spanish work around the necks of their chemises, and they really
don't look smocked.  Two versions of "The Fortune Teller" have
Blackwork/black embroidery on their collars, though they are gathered
enough to be a smocking type stitch.  They best is "Martha and Mary
Magdalen", Mary has Spanish work around the neck of her chemise, and Martha
has Spanish work on the seams on her chemise, like on one of Holbien's
portraits of Henry VIII.

Alright, I have found examples of blackwork/spanish work/true work in
England, Germany, Spain, and Italy (though only England seems to use the
large flowers with diapering etc.) has anyone run into French examples?

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