To carry out an in-depth restoration, art-historical and technical research is essential. These studies are fundamental for scholarly collections, connoisseurship, and attribution of paintings.
Redivivus has in house equipment specialized to carry out technical imaging for works of art. These methods allow us to investigate and document aspects of a painting's materials and techniques that would otherwise remain hidden.
For further scientific research, we cooperate with renowned experts within our network, who work for specialized institutions such as the Netherlands Institute for Art History (RKD), and The Netherlands Institute for Cultural Heritage (RCE).
Outlined below are some of the techniques we perform:
This method is useful for issues concerning canvas or panel support structures as well as for revealing compositional changes, and underlying paint layers.
In this 17th-century panel painting by a Netherlandish painter, X-rays uncovered a significant change in the placement of the figure. In the x-radiograph on the left we see that the figure was painted first in profile, looking out to face the viewer. Later, the artist changed the figure's placement turning his back and facing toward his easel.
X-radiograph of panel painting
Overlay of the X-ray and paint surface
Paint surface in normal light
Photograph of reflected infrared
Photograph of paint surface
Infrared imaging visualized interesting techniques used in this small canvas painting attributed after the 18th century artist François Boucher. A piece of gold leaf had been applied under the paint layers reflected in the white rectangle appearing in the cherub's hair. In the body below, infrared shows multiple lines made by the artist as he sketched the composition.
Our Apollo Infrared Camera, from Opus Instruments, represents the latest standard for high-quality infrared examination. The result is high-resolution images with an unparalleled level of clarity and detail. Infrared can be used to study various aspects of a painting, from underdrawings and pentimenti in the work, to underpainting and transmission of pigments at different wavelengths.
Invisible to the naked eye, UV radiation has energies beyond the visible light portion of the electromagnetic spectrum. Materials at the surface of an artwork may exhibit fluorescence in characteristic colors when placed under UV radiation. Their fluorescence is visible to the naked eye and can be documented photographically. UV images are used to help verify or differentiate surface coatings, pigment composition, and reworkings or restorations and can aid in their identification when coupled with other means of analysis.
UV Radiation photograph
Photograph of paint surface