1. Articles in category: Art

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    1. Non-Destructive Art Inspection Using SWIR and Terahertz Spectroscopy

      Non-Destructive Art Inspection Using SWIR and Terahertz Spectroscopy

      Conclusion Cultural Heritage Traditionally, artists painted canvas, paper, parchment, wood, walls, and ceramics to produce images of their own intuition and to depict their contemporaries. This artform is still in use by the current generation of artists. Over the centuries artists have left valuable art works that should withstand the test of times.

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      Mentions: Xenics
    2. At Duke, sibling sleuths try to unlock mummy mystery

      At Duke, sibling sleuths try to unlock mummy mystery

      Mike Toth is trying to make mummies “talk.” In ancient Egypt, middle-class dead were mummified with a mask made of papyrus scraps – “papyrus mâché,” he calls it – and finished off with layers of primer and paint. Toth hopes to look under those layers and see if these reused papyrus scraps have text on them. “The laws of physics are against us,” he said. “We have to penetrate these layers – paint, gesso, papyrus – and we need energy to do that.” Researchers can use light or X-rays to reveal the inner layers, but this can be risky. The same techniques that ...

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    3. Examining the past

      Examining the past

      Greetings! Today I thought I’d dip into the technology file and have a look at some research into new techniques developed to examine our artifacts. A painting in a museum tells us one story but what lies beneath its surface may tell quite another. Most great masterpieces are covered with varnish, sometimes several coats applied at different times over their history. The varnish was originally applied to protect the paint underneath and make the colors more vivid, but over the centuries it can degrade. Conservators carefully clean off the old varnish and replace it with new, but to do ...

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    4. On the application of Optical Coherence Tomography as a complimentary tool in a analysis of the 13th century Byzantine Bessarion Reliquary

      On the application of Optical Coherence Tomography as a complimentary tool in a analysis of the 13th century Byzantine Bessarion Reliquary

      This work presents the results of an application of Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT) to examination a 13th century Byzantine reliquary of unparalleled artistic and historical value. The aim of this work, performed at the initial stage, before the restoration, was focused on the resolution of cleaning procedures regarding both the thick, old varnish and the gold leaf details finely applied on the painted parts of the artwork by means of an integrated approach of non-invasive and invasive analyses and diagnostics. The results allow definition of the thickness of the varnishes, their inner morphology and establishes the presence (or absence) of ...

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    5. Optical Coherence Tomography in Art Conservation

      Optical Coherence Tomography in Art Conservation

      This sounds interesting - a whizzy new camera (seen above, in front of a copy of a Raphael at the National Gallery) can digitally take cross-sections of a painting. Normally, to find out the exact build up of layers in a painting (from ground layer to the tpyes of pigments used), you need to physically take a sample of paint, flip it on its side, and then look at the cross-section under a microscope (as in the colour photo below). But this new camera - developed at Nottingham Trent University - allows a virtual cross-section to be taken, and the results look as ...

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    6. Optical devices provide unprecedented insights into the laser cleaning of calcium oxalate layers

      Optical devices provide unprecedented insights into the laser cleaning of calcium oxalate layers

      Calcium oxalates are insoluble colorless or whitish salts constituting noble patina, on both natural and artificial stone artworks' surfaces, the presence of which is extremely valued. The oxalates are not considered detrimental to the substrate, however, being often accompanied by other substances such as gypsum, silicates, and pigmented particles. They may form very adherent, relatively thick and colored layers creating disfiguring effects and hindering legibility of the pictorial surface. For this reason it may be appropriate to diminish their thickness, but patina's partial preservation is particularly required calling for extremely gradual and controllable cleaning approach. Thinning of calcium oxalate ...

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    7. The application of macro-X-ray fluorescence and optical coherence tomography for examination of parchment manuscripts

      The application of macro-X-ray fluorescence and optical coherence tomography for examination of parchment manuscripts

      Macro-X-ray fluorescence (XRF) is a newly commercially available research tool very useful in the examination of artwork. Its novelty lies in its ability to create maps of the distribution of chemical elements on scales of a few milimetres. In this contribution, its use together with optical coherence tomography (OCT) in the inspection of an illuminated manuscript is reported for the first time. The former technique is used both for mapping the elemental distribution over large parts of the folios – including illuminated initials – and for quantitative analysis of the composition of the smalt pigment, as well as of changes in the ...

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    8. Optical and spectroscopic tools for evaluating Er:YAG laser removal of shellac varnish

      Optical and spectroscopic tools for evaluating Er:YAG laser removal of shellac varnish

      We report on tests to remove naturally and artificially aged shellac varnish by laser and traditional chemical cleaning from the substrates of mural paintings. Optical tools were used for the evaluation of cleaning processes, in particular laser microprofilometry to assess the changes in the surface morphology and time-domain confocal optical coherence tomography (OCT) to evaluate varnish thickness. The cleaning assessment was integrated with molecular characterization provided by portable Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy operating in reflectance mode, and colorimetric measurements. This complete analytical approach led to optimized laser-based cleaning tests at 1.9 and 2.6 J/cm 2 in the ...

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    9. A holistic multimodal approach to the non-invasive analysis of watercolour painting

      A holistic multimodal approach to the non-invasive analysis of watercolour painting

      the materials (pigments, drawing materials and paper) and painting techniques of watercolour paintings is presented. The non-invasive imaging and spectroscopic techniques include VIS–NIR reflectance spectroscopy and multispectral imaging, micro-Raman spectroscopy, X-ray fluorescence spectroscopy (XRF) and optical coherence tomography (OCT). The three spectroscopic techniques complement each other in pigment identification. Multispectral imaging (near-infrared bands), OCT and micro-Raman complement each other in the visualisation and identification of the drawing material. OCT probes the micro-structure and light scattering properties of the substrate, while XRF detects the elemental composition that indicates the sizing methods and the filler content. The multiple techniques were applied ...

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    10. High resolution Fourier domain Optical Coherence Tomography at 2 microns for painted objects

      High resolution Fourier domain Optical Coherence Tomography at 2 microns for painted objects

      Optical Coherence Tomography has been successfully applied to the non-invasive imaging of subsurface microstructure of a variety of materials from biological tissues to painted objects of art. One of the limitations of the technique is the low depth of penetration due to the strong scattering and absorption in the material. Previous studies found that for paint materials, the optimum window for large depth of penetration is around 2.2 microns. This is also true for many other materials with low water content. We have previously demonstrated OCT systems in this wavelength regime for imaging with improved depth of penetration. In ...

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    11. Optical coherence tomography complemented by hyperspectral imaging for the study of protective wood coatings

      Optical coherence tomography complemented by hyperspectral imaging for the study of protective wood coatings

      Optical coherence tomography (OCT) is a contactless and non-destructive testing (NDT) technique based on low-coherence interferometry. It has recently become a popular NDT-tool for evaluating cultural heritage. In this study, protective coatings on wood and their penetration into the wood structure were measured with a customized infrared fiber optic OCT instrument. In order to enhance the understanding of the OCT measurements of coatings on real wooden samples, an optimization of the measuring and analyzing methodology was performed by developing an averaging approach and by post-processing the data. The collected information was complemented by data obtained with hyperspectral imaging to allow ...

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    12. Optical Coherence Tomography

      Optical Coherence Tomography

      This sounds interesting - a whizzy new camera (seen above, in front of a copy of a Raphael at the National Gallery) can digitally take cross-sections of a painting. Normally, to find out the exact build up of layers in a painting (from ground layer to the tpyes of pigments used), you need to physically take a sample of paint, flip it on its side, and then look at the cross-section under a microscope (as in the colour photo below). But this new camera - developed at Nottingham Trent University - allows a virtual cross-section to be taken, and the results look as ...

      Read Full Article
    13. Ultra-high resolution Fourier domain optical coherence tomography for old master paintings

      Ultra-high resolution Fourier domain optical coherence tomography for old master paintings

      In the last 10 years, Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT) has been successfully applied to art conservation, history and archaeology. OCT has the potential to become a routine non-invasive tool in museums allowing cross-section imaging anywhere on an intact object where there are no other methods of obtaining subsurface information. While current commercial OCTs have shown potential in this field, they are still limited in depth resolution (> 4 μm in paint and varnish) compared to conventional microscopic examination of sampled paint cross-sections (~1 μm). An ultra-high resolution fiber-based Fourier domain optical coherence tomography system with a constant axial resolution of 1 ...

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    14. Researchers develop high-resolution technique for non-invasively imaging hidden layers in centuries-old paintings

      Researchers develop high-resolution technique for non-invasively imaging hidden layers in centuries-old paintings

      A painting hanging on the wall in an art gallery tells one story. What lies beneath its surface may tell quite another. Often in a Rembrandt, a Vermeer, a Leonardo, a Van Eyck, or any other great masterpiece of western art, the layers of paint are covered with varnish, sometimes several coats applied at different times over their history. The varnish was originally applied to protect the paint underneath and make the colors appear more vivid, but over the centuries it can degrade. Conservators carefully clean off the old varnish and replace it with new, but to do this safely ...

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    15. 3D Digital Microscopy for Characterizing Punchworks on Medieval Panel Paintings

      3D Digital Microscopy for Characterizing Punchworks on Medieval Panel Paintings

      This article is devoted to a novel application of the micro-3D modeling based on shape from focus. A 3D portable digital microscope prototype has been used for the first time in order to analyze gold punchwork on medieval panel paintings. In general, the 3D domain provides a more flexible and complete characterization of these decorative elements than traditional photographic documentation. Low-magnification 3D digital microscopy is well suited for analyzing morphologies, depths, and profiles of different punch marks. Here, we used these parameters for interpreting the punching process and recognizing sliding and bouncing effects. The 3D reconstruction of the surface engraved ...

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    16. Nottingham Trent helps paint picture of Chinese-European history

      Nottingham Trent helps paint picture of Chinese-European history

      Technology developed by Nottingham Trent University is helping unravel the history behind paintings belonging to the Victoria and Albert Museum (V&A) and Royal Horticultural Society (RHS). Dr Haida Liang, a reader in physics at the university’s School of Science and Technology, is leading a team to use Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT), multispectral imaging and other non-invasive and non-contact scientific techniques to analyse watercolours exported by China during the 19th century. The OCT device scans the layers below the surface of an object with infrared light in order to reveal details not visible to the naked eye, such as ...

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    17. Historic Work: Governments need to strengthen support for scientists who preserve our cultural heritage.

      Historic Work: Governments need to strengthen support for scientists who preserve our cultural heritage.

      In Ireland, parts of England and other areas of Europe there are thousands of artworks that were fashioned from rocks during the Neolithic period and the Bronze Age. Threatened by degradation, such cultural heritage attracts scientists and volunteer citizens to ensure its preservation. The tools that researchers have devised to help in this task are themselves creative. In one project, biogeochemists and geomorphologists have developed non-invasive methods that enable researchers and citizens to monitor and mitigate decay. Scientists interested in protecting historic collections are determining how climate change will affect the rates of chemical degradation of paper and silk, pest ...

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    18. Depth-Resolved Multilayer Pigment Identification in Paintings: Combined Use of Laser-Induced Breakdown Spectroscopy (LIBS) and Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT)

      Depth-Resolved Multilayer Pigment Identification in Paintings: Combined Use of Laser-Induced Breakdown Spectroscopy (LIBS) and Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT)

      A detailed feasibility study on the combined use of laser-induced breakdown spectroscopy with optical coherence tomography (LIBS/OCT), aiming at a realistic depth-resolved elemental analysis of multilayer stratigraphies in paintings, is presented. Merging a high spectral resolution LIBS system with a high spatial resolution spectral OCT instrument significantly enhances the quality and accuracy of stratigraphic analysis. First, OCT mapping is employed prior to LIBS analysis in order to assist the selection of specific areas of interest on the painting surface to be examined in detail. Then, intertwined with LIBS, the OCT instrument is used as a precise profilometer for the ...

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    19. OCT structural examination of Madonna dei Fusi by Leonardo da Vinc

      OCT structural examination of Madonna dei Fusi by Leonardo da Vinc

      Madonna dei Fusi (‘Madonna of the Yarnwider’) is a spectacular example of Italian Renaissance painting, attributed to Leonardo da Vinci. The aim of this study is to give an account of past restoration procedures. The evidence of a former retouching campaign will be presented with cross-sectional images obtained non-invasively with Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT). Specifically, the locations of overpaintings/retouchings with respect to the original paint layer and secondary varnishes will be given. Additionally, the evidence of a former transfer of the pictorial layer to the new canvas support by detecting the presence of its structure incised into paint layer ...

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    20. Ultra-high resolution Fourier domain optical coherence tomography for resolving thin layers in painted works of art

      Ultra-high resolution Fourier domain optical coherence tomography for resolving thin layers in painted works of art

      While OCT has been applied to the non-invasive examination of the stratigraphy of paint layers in recent years, it has been recognized that the resolutions of commercially available OCT cannot compete in depth resolution with conventional microscopic examination of cross-sections of paint samples. It is necessary to achieve resolutions better than 3 microns to resolve the thinnest layers of paint and varnish. In this paper, we demonstrate a Fourier domain ultrahigh resolution OCT at 810nm with depth resolution of 1.8 μm in air (or 1.2μm in varnish or paint).

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    21. Long wavelength optical coherence tomography for imaging of painted objects

      Long wavelength optical coherence tomography for imaging of painted objects

      Optical Coherence Tomography has been successfully applied to the imaging of painted objects in recent years. However, a significant limitation is the low penetration depth of OCT in paint because of the high opacity of paint due to either scattering or absorption. It has been shown that the optimum spectral window for OCT imaging of paint layers is around 2.2μm in wavelength. In this paper, we demonstrate a 1950nm OCT for imaging painted objects using a superfluorescent fiber source at low power.

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    22. Training on Application of Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT) to Structural Analysis of Cultural Heritage Objects: June 27–28, 2013 Nicolaus Copernicus University, Torun, Poland

      Training on Application of Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT) to Structural Analysis of Cultural Heritage Objects: June 27–28, 2013 Nicolaus Copernicus University, Torun, Poland

      This two-day training event will be dedicated to traditional and innovative applications of optical coherence tomography (OCT) to the examination of cultural heritage objects. The first day will focus on the scientific background and a review of the state-of-the-art of OCT, as well as applications to cultural heritage. The second day will be devoted to hands-on training. Various objects will be provided by the organizers, but participants are encouraged to bring their own samples – contact Piotr Targowski, Nicolaus Copernicus University, ptarg@fizyka.umk.pl for details. There will be no admission fee. Invitation for submission of oral presentations or posters ...

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    23. Optimum spectral window for imaging of art with optical coherence tomography

      Optimum spectral window for imaging of art with optical coherence tomography

      Optical coherence tomography (OCT) has been shown to have potential for important applications in the field of art conservation and archaeology due to its ability to image subsurface microstructures non-invasively. However, its depth of penetration in painted objects is limited due to the strong scattering properties of artists’ paints. VIS–NIR (400–2,400 nm) reflectance spectra of a wide variety of paints made with historic artists’ pigments have been measured. The best spectral window with which to use OCT for the imaging of subsurface structure of paintings was found to be around 2.2 μm. The same spectral window ...

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    24. How Lasers Are Changing the Study of Art

      How Lasers Are Changing the Study of Art

      Shooting a laser at a priceless 14th century painting may seem problematic. But, precisely tuned and timed, the laser system may be the only non-destructive way to get into the mind of long-dead artists like Puccio Capanna and determine his materials, techniques and intent for painting the Crucifixion around 1330 A.D. Duke chemist Warren Warren originally designed the laser system, which uses less power than a laser pointer, to detect changes in the chemicals that give skin cells their color. But one day, while walking through the National Gallery in England, Warren wondered whether his laser system would be ...

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    1-24 of 82 1 2 3 4 »
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