Art Conservation and Fluorescence

Posted On: Tuesday, September 1, 2020

Painting detail, fluorescence

Identification of original 17th  century paint vs. modern overpaint

Fluorescence can be a valuable tool for art conservation. The images below were recently sent to us from the Eskenazi Museum of Art at Indiana University, Center for Conservation. They were acquired using the Hirox RH-2000 Digital Microscope System in combination with the NIGHTSEA Ultraviolet excitation/emission set to add the fluorescence capability. The conservators were able to document an area of the painting ‘Joseph Seeking His Brothers‘ (Eustache Le Sueur, ca. 1647–1650) with some remaining original 17th century red oil paint (likely vermilion) surrounded by modern (approx. 50 years old) overpaint. The original paint exhibits a red fluorescence (below right), while the overpaint does not (white light image, below left).

Images © Eskenazi Museum of Art at Indiana University, Center for Conservation

For more examples of the application of fluorescence to art conservation, visit this page.



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