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Stretching

Stretching

After the frames are cut to the size of each individual canvas they are assembled. No glue or staples are used in the construction of our frames - instead, we employ a unique dovetailing system which adds to the stability of the construction of the frame.

      

Once the canvas is stretched it is primed to perfection using a unique double hand-priming and sanding process that results in the signature texture we are famous for.

  


Every picture is composed of three distinct elements

1. The SUPPORT, on which one paints.

2. The GROUND, which covers the support and fits it to receive the paint.

3. The paint itself, in one or more coats, which is applied to the ground.

The support should logically, therefore, be considered first, as it is the foundation on which the assumed work of art is going to be built. Restorers are able to remove any picture, which is painted on sound ground, from its support, and place it on another one. Many paintings in museums have been re-canvased, or re-backed. This process does the paintings no good. And therein lies the reason to study supports as carefully as possible so that this tedious, delicate and costly process, with its attendant risks, may be postponed for as long as possible, or better still, made entirely unnecessary.

What is Canvas....?

Closely woven cloth, usually linen, used as a support for paintings. A painting itself may also be referred to as a canvas, naturally if that paintings is on canvas.

Although canvas as a support for painting was known to the ancients, it became widely used in Italy for oil painting by the end of the 15th century. Until then, both tempera and oil painting had been done primarily on wood panels.

The word “canvas” does not refer to any specific material in the field of textile fabrics, it is applied to number of closely woven materials of relatively course fibers. Linen is preferred for its superior strength; it tears with great difficulty. It is also less hygroscopic than other fabrics which instead draw moisture from the air and, upon drying, throw it off and are in a sort of continual expansion and contraction in which the dry pigment cannot participate. This causes the paint to crack severely.

In Vermeer's time, canvas was not made specifically made for the fine arts but principally for bed sheets, sails and clothing.

It is now held that many, if not most, 17th-century painters did not prepare their own canvases but bought them ready-made (stretched on a wooden frame or "chassis" grounded and primed) from specialized artisans. Their dimensions may sometimes be associated with local units of measure. The width of a roll of cloth was governed by the width of the 100m: most looms in Twente and Brabant, the main sources for canvas in the Northern Netherlands were two ells (ca. 138 cm) wide, whereas 100m widths of Italian canvases tend to range between 106 and 110 cm.

Vermeer used fine woven linen canvas for his paintings.

For example, The Woman holding the Balance is painted on a plane woven linen with a thread count of 20 x 16 per square cm. Since many of Vermeer’s paintings are similar in dimension and proportion to the canvases of many Dutch artists, it has been conjectured that he too may have prefer use pre-prepared canvases rather than face the laborious task of preparing them by himself!