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Yet average thread counts alone, no matter how close, are not enough to establish that two canvases were manufactured together.
With the advent of computer methods, it is now possible to “count” the threads at every location in a canvas.
Manual thread counts are widely used in the technical analysis of a painting’s canvas (Franken 2017).
When the average thread counts of two canvases are similar, this suggests that the two canvases are derived from the same bolt; conversely, if they differ substantially, they cannot have originated from the same roll.
These variations often extend over the width and breadth of the roll originally containing the canvas.
A weave match occurs when the weave maps from two different canvases have the same pattern of stripes.
the range of ground layer materials used by the artist), and documentation (e.g.
In March 2006, Ella Hendricks, head of painting conservation at the Van Gogh Museum, agreed to tutor Rick Johnson (the first author of this article) in the activities of a conservator with the goal of expanding the use of computer-based tools in painting analysis.Transforming this numerical procedure into an image produces such as in Figure 1, which display values of the thread count as colored dots.Striped patterns in the colors are local thread count variations attributable to the mechanics of the weaving process.Each pixel in the weave map represents the value of a thread count at a single evaluation point, which is carried out automatically over the complete canvas.To convert the similarity assessment into a visual task, the density values for each evaluation tile are transformed into colored squares that indicate the densities of the vertical threads.
In the decade since the creation of the first automated thread counting procedures, researchers have used weave maps of thread density and angle to analyze Old Master European paintings from the fifteenth to the early twentieth centuries.