Technical Analysis & Documentation
Technical analysis allows conservators to work with a much higher degree of certainty and precision, and to see beyond the naked eye, to see ‘through’ a work. Its principal objective is to analyze an artist’s techniques and materials, assess damage and any previous restorations. It can also help authenticate artwork and detect forgeries. Here are some of types of technical analysis that Preservation Arts uses to better understand your artwork.
Ultra Violet (UV) Photography
Infrared (IR) Microscopy
Pigment & Medium Analysis
Identify and treat active copper corrosion, ie “bronze disease”
Characterization of coatings
Elemental Analysis of Metals
Cross-sectional Analysis of Paint Films
Visible Light Microscopy
Portable X-Ray Fluorescence (XRF)
Ultra Violet (UV) Photograghy
This simple technique can be used to reveal layers, pigments, previous restorations and the techniques used by an artist.
The photos to the right show objects being examined under UV light. In this case a previous repair was discovered in the ivory.
The photos below demonstrate how UV light can be used during painting conservation. The top row is regular light and bottom row shows Front of Painting Under UV-Induced Visible Fluorescence Before Cleaning (Left) and After Treatment (Right)
Infra-Red (IR) Microscopy
Preservation Arts uses a Zarbeco MP3 MiScope. MiScope Megapixel MP3 (MISC-MP3) is a superior grade lab quality portable digital microscope.
IR Microscopy can reveal original drawings hidden beneath the paint.
Material Identification using Microscopy - The following slides shows photos of materials viewed with a microscope under 20x magnification.