Scientific Results

Interpreting technical evidence from spectral imaging of paintings by edouard Manet in the Courtauld Gallery

Year: 2019

Authors: Amato SR., Burnstock A., Cross M., Janssens K., Rosi F., Cartechini L., Fontana R., Dal Fovo A., Paolantoni M., Grazia C., Romani A., Michelin A., Andraud C., Tournie A., Dik J.

Autors Affiliation: Courtauld Inst Art, Dept Conservat & Technol, Somerset House, London WC2R 0RN, England; Univ Antwerp, Campus Groenenborger Groenenborgerlaan 171, B-2020 Antwerp, Belgium; CNR, ISTM, Via Elce Sotto 9, I-06123 Perugia, Italy; CNR, INO, Largo E Fermi 6, I-50125 Florence, Italy; Univ Perugia, Dept Chem Biol & Biotechnol, Ctr Excellence SMAArt, Via Elce Sotto 9, I-06123 Perugia, Italy; CNRS, Museum Natl Hist Nat, Museum Natl Hist Nat, CRC,USR 3224, 36 Rue Geoffroy St Hilaire,CP21, F-75005 Paris, France; Delft Univ Technol, Mekelweg 2, NL-2628 Delft, Netherlands

Abstract: The paintings by edouard Manet in The Courtauld Gallery Dejeuner sur l’herbe (1863-68), Marguerite de Conflans en Toilette de Bal (1870-1880), Banks of the Seine at Argenteuil (1874), and A Bar at the Folies-Bergere (1882) were investigated for the first time using a range of non-invasive in situ analyses. The aims of the study were to investigate the painting techniques and materials used for this group of works and to critically evaluate the technical evidence derived from the integrated use of imaging techniques and portable spectroscopic methods in this context. The paintings were investigated by means of macro X-ray fluorescence (MA-XRF), reflection spectral imaging, portable UV-Vis-NIR spectroscopy, portable Raman spectroscopy, and reflection FTIR. MA-XRF and reflection spectral imaging allowed visualising elements in the compositions that were not visible using traditional methods of technical study. For example, MA-XRF analysis of Dejeuner sur l’herbe revealed elements of the development of the composition that provided new evidence to consider its relationship to other versions of the composition. The study also highlighted questions about the interpretation of elemental distribution maps and spectral images that did not correspond to the reworking visible in X-radiographs. For example, in A Bar at the Folies-Bergere Manet made numerous changes during painting, which were not clearly visualised with any of the techniques used. The research has wider implications for the study of Impressionist paintings, as the results will support technical studies of works by other artists of the period who used similar materials and painting methods.

Journal/Review: X-RAY SPECTROMETRY

Volume: 48 (4)      Pages from: 282  to: 292

More Information: Conference: MA-XRF Workshop on Developments and Applications of Macro-XRF in Conservation, Art, and Archeology

Location: Trieste, ITALY

Date: SEP 24-25, 2017
KeyWords: IN-SITU INVESTIGATIONS; SOLID-SOLUTIONS; IDENTIFICATION; PIGMENTS; VERSION; XRF
DOI: 10.1002/xrs.2828

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