Giardineto Novo di Punti Tagliati et Gropposi per Exercitio & Ornamento delle Donne

woodcut pattern

Matteo Pagano (1515–1588)
Giardineto Novo di Punti Tagliati et Gropposi per Exercitio & Ornamento delle Donne
Venice: Matteo Pagano, 1554
Woodcut
7 5/8 x 6 3/8 in. (19.4 x 16.2 cm)
The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; Rogers Fund, 1921 (21.15.1bis [1–48])

 
The exquisite needlework on the collars and cuffs of the unidentified young men in the Gentleman in Adoration before the Madonna and Child and the Gentleman in Contemplation of the Baptism of Christ is painted by Moroni with exceptional precision. Pattern books like these by the Venetian Matteo Pagano — a mapmaker, printer, medalist, and book and print dealer —  promoted embroidery and openwork (as shown here) as upstanding activities for women, as indicated by their titles (“Ornament of Beautiful and Virtuous Women” and “New Garden of Needlepoint and Knotwork for the Exercise and Ornament of Women,” respectively).