STRADANUS, Johannes
(b. 1523, Brugge, d. 1605, Firenze)

Silkworm Farm (1)

1580s
Engraving
Royal Collection, Windsor

During the Renaissance Italy was the main centre of the production and manufacture of silk in Europe. The cultivation of mulberry and silkworms is dependent on climatic conditions and a type of soil that are difficult to find north of the Alps. It developed first in southern Italy but then gradually shifted to the central and northern parts of the peninsula, where the fabric was also worked and manufactured, in particular at Lucca, Florence and Venice.

The engravings of Johannes Stradanus (Giovanni Stradano) are the most interesting contemporary visual documents of the production and manufacture of silk.