All paintings are carefully examined on their arrival to the studio in order to understand their condition and determine the necessary treatment to be carried out. In some cases it is necessary to use various scientific techniques that can add to our understanding of the structure of the painting, its materials and the techniques of the artist. Techniques we use include:
Cross section analysis of paint and varnish layers: Useful to determine later overpaint. Helps in identifying fakes, dating the painting.
Infra-red photography: To identify drawing lines the artist may have used in the production of the artwork.
Ultra-violet fluorescence examination: Very helpful in determining overpaint that is not visible to the naked eye.
Chemical analysis of media
Microscopic analysis of pigments: Helps to date the make up of paint and identify fakes/forgeries.
X-ray, Radiography: Most useful tool for investigating damaged painting when covered over by layers of overpaint. Also for investigating earlier compositions beneath the visible surface.