ANYL David Koppenaal  Tuesday, March 29, 2011 

147 - Visualizing the 17th century underpainting using mobile and synchrotron-based scanning macro-XRF

Matthias Alfeld, Koen Janssens, Joris Dik, Pete D. Siddons, Ernst van de Wetering Department of Chemistry, University of Antwerp, Antwerp, Belgium; Department of Materials Science and Engineering, Delft University of Technology, Delft, The Netherlands; NSLS, Brookhaven National Laboratory, Brookhaven, New York, United States; Rembrandt Research Project, Amsterdam, The Netherlands

In the study of 17th century Old Master Paintings, the underpainting generally refers to the first sketch of a composition that roughly indicates light, shade and contours. Despite fundamental interest in the understanding of a painting's genesis, the underpainting has escaped all imaging efforts, as it cannot be visualized practically by IRR, NAAR and XRR.

In this contribution we will show that 17th century underpainting may consist of a highly heterogeneous brown mixture of pigments, including copper pigments, which might be the recycled left-over of a palette scraping.

We will show how scanning macro-XRF can be used to efficiently visualize the copper containing underpainting and discuss the experimental set-ups with (stationary) synchrotron X-ray sources and mobile X-ray tube sources for in situ measurements used. Further, the significance of our results obtained on paintings from the workshops of Rembrandt and Caravaggio will be discussed in an art historical context.


Tuesday, March 29, 2011 11:10 AM
Partnerships and New Analytical Methodologies at the Interface of Chemistry and Art (09:00 AM - 12:15 PM)
Location: Sheraton Park Hotel at the Anaheim Resort
Room: Garden B/C

 

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