Paintings are subject to various alterations over time and nowadays often have a different appearance than originally intended by the artist. In this research project, we want to visualize – in 3D – the degradation processes that take place in the painting. The focus of the project is the degradation of arsenic- and lead-containing pigments.
A better understanding is necessary in order to delay or completely stop these degradation processes. To achieve this, data fusion technology will be used, a technology that is already used in heterogeneous catalyst research to combine various types of imaging information in 3D. This involves combining 2D distribution maps of the paint components on the macroscopic and microscopic scales, spectroscopic information and 3D density volumes obtained by computer tomography. For the microscopic information synchrotron-based techniques such as µ-XANES, µ-XRD, µ-XRF and ptychography are used. The combination of these different techniques makes it possible to visualize the degradation and migration processes in the paint layers in relation to the paint surface.
This PhD is part of a NICAS project funded by NWO. It is a collaboration between the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam, Utrecht University, University of Amsterdam, University of Antwerp and the University of Groningen.