1000 Pricks. Schurman

1000 Pricks. Schurman

Anna van Schurman (1607-1678) practiced paper-cutting, embroidery and engraving as a young lady and was highly regarded in these pursuits. However, she railed against the restrictions on learning placed upon women and wrote a number of works questioning why women could not be taught mathematics, music and painting.

Pin prick pictures with watercolour

Pin prick pictures were seen as a genteel way for young ladies to pass their time. The design was first drawn on watercolour paper (of high rag content) and then a variety of different sized needles were used to prick holes through from the back, creating the design. The picture was painted with watercolour prior to pricking.

Very little is known of the history of pin prick pictures apart from that they were popular in continental Europe from the late 17th, early 18th century. They very often embellished devotional canivet (cut paper) artworks created by nuns and monks. The additional embellishment of watercolour faces and features was popular around the 1780s. This picture probably shows pilgrims travelling to a site of religious significance. They may have been produced as souvenirs at religious pilgrimage or popular tourist spots throughout the 18th century.