Painted linen as a backdrop for mirrors and other antiques

Lungarno Dining Room

I had been painting on linen in the studio in Florence for various projects when the client approached me with the idea of of having a removable decoration for her dining room.

Secret technique

We came up with a series of linen drops whose design was to be taken from a very old woven silk textile mounted on a screen. I fitted the design together on a larger scale and we decided to colour them in a faded grey blue. A secret technique was used to stop the the wash of colour from encroaching on the floral design, I then flipped the linen over and added highlights and shadows to give an impression of a damask fabric.

Architectural frames

The panels were then trimmed, stitched and lined by Nicola Lensi at Opera Prima. Thin aluminium poles were inserted for the hanging and lead balls at the bottom to keep them taught. In between the drops I painted architectural frames and a cornice around the top  to match the painted paneling in shape and colour to those in the hall (these framed Zuber’s Psyché papier peint).

Intimate atmosphere

The dinning room is entirely lit by candles shimmering in a collection of beautiful cut glass sconces and silver candelabra. The linen absorbs the reverberated noise in this domed round room and making conversation clearer and more intimate.

Client: Sue Townsend