Examination of old paintings

With the help of its modern equipment, the laboratory of the Museo d’Arte e Scienza is able to perform analyses using infrared reflectography, Wood’s light, a stereoscopic microscope, IR spectroscopy and other instrumental techniques.

  • Microscopic analysis examines signs of age in the paint layer: the characteristics of the craquelure, pigments, restoration work, etc…
  • Wood’s light and monochromatic lights permit an evaluation of the extent to which a painting has been restored, touched up and overpainted, as well as identification of various fluorescent substances.
  • Infrared reflectography permits an in-depth examination of the painting, bringing to light underdrawings or grids, pentimenti, the depth of the craquelure and identification of restoration work or the use of different materials.
  • IR spectroscopic analysis and dating permit the examination of a number of materials in order to verify their compatibility with the supposed historical period: pigments, binders, glues and varnishes, as well as the painting’s stretcher and support.

This proven series of scientific tests verifies the compatibility of the work with a precise historical period, thus making it possible, for example, to tell a 17th century painting from a 19th century copy or an even more recent reproduction.

Only works presumed to have been painted before 1900 are analyzed.