A new technique for assessing the condition of work of arts without taking samples from them has emerged from a research collaboration between conservators, curators and scientists.
Paintings undergo little mechanical stress hanging in a gallery, but are often transported between exhibitions. It is not easy to assess by eye whether they are strong enough to withstand handling and travel, and taking samples from them is not a desirable option.
The risk of paint degradation is increased if the painting’s canvas is in a poor condition, but so far more attention has been given to understanding paint layers than the supports behind them. Reductions in heritage funding make accurate scientific evidence crucial for optimising the environment and handling of paintings.
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Looking beneath Dalí’s paint: non-destructive canvas analysis
Marta Oriola, Alenka Možir, Paul Garside, Gema Campo, Anna Nualart-Torroja, Irene Civil, Marianne Odlyha, May Cassar and Matija Strlič
Anal. Methods, 2013, Advance Article