Motif: after Adriano Cecioni
Type: Embroidered painting
Technique: Mixed embroidery
Year: 2017
Edition: Unique

Size: Medium
Dimension: 60 x 76 cm | 23.6 x 29.9 in
Number of stitches: over 1.3 mio
Thread length: over 16 km | over 9.9 mi
Thread colours: 67
Development: over 300 person hours

Price: not for sale

About the artwork

Based on original oil painting Le Ricamatrici by Adriano Cecioni who created it at the time of his stay in Naples in 1866. True to the then prevalent school of realism, he chose subject matter from everyday life, depicting workers of different professions. Bodies of the three embroiderers remind us of the elegance of classical antiquity and of early renaissance works of Piero della Francesca. Delicate lighting of the scene also seems to have come from a similar source of inspiration. Commissioned by a private collection in Milan.

About the artist

Cecioni fought for his ideals with a rifle, paintbrush, chisel and pen. Today, he is most remembered for his writings on the contemporary art of his time. Born in vicinity of Florence, he studied sculpture and painting at the Florentine Academy of fine arts. As a student, he was also an active combatant in the war for Italian unification. Due to his yet enough conventional style, he won a scholarship and thus possibility to reside and study in Naples and to enjoy a prestigious position among young local artists. They gathered around him, painting both landscapes and contemporary scenes in a non-academic realistic style. His attempts for a breakthrough in the art metropoles of Paris and London remained unsuccessful. He died prematurely just weeks before his 50th birthday. Today his work is much better known in Italy than elsewhere; the majority of his scarce opus is held outside the public sphere in private collections.

Features

Extraordinary number of stitches

In a classic embroidery, the number of stitches is somewhere between 20,000 and 200,000, and is limited by stretching and contracting of materials. By overcoming this limitations, we are able to make embroideries with millions of stitches which enables us to produce photorealistic embroideries and recreate any painting of any artistic style.

Innovation of layering

We layer multiple colours of threads and so create rich embroidery and colour texture that is impossible to create with classic one-layer embroidery technique. By layering, we develop colour transitions and shadowing, by which we create multiple-colour surfaces, similar to pointillism painting.

Smooth transitions and shading

By intertwining threads of endless colours and creating colour transitions, we can shape soft shadows, make one surface transition into another and mix colours into an endless multitude of hues. This way, we can also recreate motives from photographs and sophisticated art paintings which wouldn’t be possible with classic embroidery technique, using vector surfaces.

Sophisticated colour calibration

Usually in embroidery, 10 or 20, maybe 30 colours of threads are used. We use around 1,000 colour hues and if a colour still doesn’t match the desired one, we create it by layering and colour transitions. We have digitally scanned colours of all threads by using a spectrograph, so we can colour match any colour from an original material or from CMYK, RGB or Pantone colour schemes.