HNW - but is it blackwork?

EowynA@aol.com EowynA at aol.com
Tue Jul 27 18:33:49 PDT 1999


In a message dated 7/27/99 2:56:41 PM, you wrote:
<<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?
>>

I, too, have found lots of English, German, Spanish, and Italian versions, 
but few French.  There are a couple paintings by Francois Clouet that _may_ 
show this kind of blackwork -- one I saw at the Minneapolis Museum of Art, 
and I don't remember where I saw the other.  Also, in the book _Western 
European Illuminated Manuscripts of the 8th to the 16th centuries _ by Tamara 
Voronova and Andrei Sterligov , which are from mss. in the Hermitage, there 
is a French ms. ca. 1531-1538, plate 258, the "Orations of Cicero," which 
shows three figures with blackworked/Spanishworked collars on their chemises. 
 That is it that I have found.   

I am also on the lookout for sources of blackwork/Spanishwork in Spain prior 
to 1500.  There is a series of large paintings, the work of one hand known 
only as the "Master of the Retable of the Catholic Kings." A "Retable" is the 
series of paintings in an alterpiece.  These are dated to 1498 or 
thereabouts.  The Samuel H. Kress Foundation has scattered them around the 
country -- "The Annunciation" is in the Arizona State Museum, and appears to 
show what may be blackwork (and may be painterly designs) on the sleeves of 
St. Elizabeth.  "The Presentation of Jesus at the Temple" and "The Wedding of 
Cana" are at the National Gallery in Washington, DC, and shows a Moor in the 
background of the first that may have red Spanish stitch on his collar. The 
Wedding tablecloth and bride's camisa show possible Spanish stitch designs. 
"The Nativity" is at the Legion of Honor museum in San Francisco, and does 
not show any designs that I would interpret as Spanish stitch. 

Does anyone else know where more of these retable paintings are?  I am sure I 
haven't seen them all, widely scattered as they appear to be. 

Thanks, 
Melinda in LA
a.k.a. Eowyn Amberdrake in Caid
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