Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

New Technology Helps Conserve Paintings

14.02.2008
Experts from the University of the Philippines Diliman are currently working on the development of an optical imaging technique that would provide quantitative analysis of artworks which may guide curators, conservators and researchers.

Museums and art galleries are repositories of treasured artworks created by notable artists throughout history. These artworks are archived, conserved and studied for they dictate artistic styles that would aid in understanding history and expanding the existing knowledge in art.

Unfortunately, defects are inevitable especially in old pieces due to human interventions and changing environmental conditions. In the Philippines today, no current quantitative procedures are used in order to closely analyze paintings and accurately determine qualities and defects. The only bases for authentication, archiving, and restoration are history, material, style of the painter, and other visually identifiable characteristics of the artwork.

Motivated by the need to restore, preserve and contribute to the study of Philippine Art, experts from the University of the Philippines, Diliman (UPD) are currently working on a project funded by the Office of the Chancellor entitled “Art Beyond Appearances: Physics Looks into Paintings.” The Art Analysis team led by Dr. Ana Maria Theresa Labrador has collaborated with the Physics team led by Dr. Maricor Soriano to develop an optical imaging technique that would provide quantitative analysis of artworks which may guide curators, conservators and researchers.

The ongoing research uses artworks in the Jorge B. Vargas Museum and Filipiniana Research Center as test subjects. Examples are Fernando Amorsolo’s paintings like Malacañang by the River (Oil on canvas, 1948). Using only a digital camera and locally developed software, the Physics team can perform Spectral Imaging and Photometric Stereo for the measurement and analysis of reflectance spectra and texture of paintings, respectively. With Spectral Imaging, the spectral reflectance that shows the characteristics of colors are determined, thus aiding in the documentation of the color use of selected Filipino artists and making possible accurate color reproduction for inpainting restoration work. Determining the surface topography of oil paintings through Photometric Stereo facilitates in the detection of defects (discolorations, cracks, deformations, etc.) and canvas weaves. Through multiple images of the surface taken at different light source locations, a three-dimensional visualization of the surface structure is created, thus achieving a clear view of the imperfections of the painting surface.

Discolorations and defects in oil on canvases are usually due to the changes in temperature and relative humidity within the museum or any storage location. There are existing guidelines for the conservation of paintings from the West, but the different climate in the Philippines, where temperature and relative humidity are higher, is significant to the conservation process and thus, should be considered in the study. Through the help of a team from the Department of Electrical and Electronics Engineering (EEE) led by Marc Caesar Talampas, a wireless sensor network has been developed and installed in a selected location inside the Vargas Museum to monitor and control its temperature and relative humidity. Such monitoring and control is done through the SHT15 sensor from Sensirion, which has a serial interface and consumes very little power; it is connected to a Z8! Encore microcontroller readily available at the Instrumentation, Robotics and Control Laboratory in EEE. Through these processes, the right environmental condition for the paintings is maintained and the conservation methods of the museum are improved.

Working on the results gathered by the Physics team on the hidden signatures of painters and the artworks’ color and texture are the members of the Arts Analysis team. They study implications of such findings to the preconceived notions in the history of art including the exposition on the “Philippine Light” (a product of a painting technique called backlighting) which according to artists is seen in most of Fernando Amorsolo’s paintings. They also research on the paintings’ pigments, materials used and their sources, and review other related studies.

Dr. Labrador reports that this project has been featured in different media for public awareness such as in the UP Newsletter, Manila Bulletin, Business World, and on the evening news of RPN 9. More events are being planned to promote the study. According to Dr. Labrador, the project not only aims to develop tools to study and preserve masterpieces, but also to establish interdisciplinary courses on preventive conservation, color analysis, monitoring of environments of collections, and art historical construction.

Office of the Vice Chancellor | ResearchSEA
Further information:
http://www.ovcrd.upd.edu.ph

More articles from Process Engineering:

nachricht Etching Microstructures with Lasers
25.10.2016 | Fraunhofer-Institut für Lasertechnik ILT

nachricht Applying electron beams to 3-D objects
23.09.2016 | Fraunhofer-Institut für Organische Elektronik, Elektronenstrahl- und Plasmatechnik FEP

All articles from Process Engineering >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Traffic jam in empty space

New success for Konstanz physicists in studying the quantum vacuum

An important step towards a completely new experimental access to quantum physics has been made at University of Konstanz. The team of scientists headed by...

Im Focus: How gut bacteria can make us ill

HZI researchers decipher infection mechanisms of Yersinia and immune responses of the host

Yersiniae cause severe intestinal infections. Studies using Yersinia pseudotuberculosis as a model organism aim to elucidate the infection mechanisms of these...

Im Focus: Interfacial Superconductivity: Magnetic and superconducting order revealed simultaneously

Researchers from the University of Hamburg in Germany, in collaboration with colleagues from the University of Aarhus in Denmark, have synthesized a new superconducting material by growing a few layers of an antiferromagnetic transition-metal chalcogenide on a bismuth-based topological insulator, both being non-superconducting materials.

While superconductivity and magnetism are generally believed to be mutually exclusive, surprisingly, in this new material, superconducting correlations...

Im Focus: Studying fundamental particles in materials

Laser-driving of semimetals allows creating novel quasiparticle states within condensed matter systems and switching between different states on ultrafast time scales

Studying properties of fundamental particles in condensed matter systems is a promising approach to quantum field theory. Quasiparticles offer the opportunity...

Im Focus: Designing Architecture with Solar Building Envelopes

Among the general public, solar thermal energy is currently associated with dark blue, rectangular collectors on building roofs. Technologies are needed for aesthetically high quality architecture which offer the architect more room for manoeuvre when it comes to low- and plus-energy buildings. With the “ArKol” project, researchers at Fraunhofer ISE together with partners are currently developing two façade collectors for solar thermal energy generation, which permit a high degree of design flexibility: a strip collector for opaque façade sections and a solar thermal blind for transparent sections. The current state of the two developments will be presented at the BAU 2017 trade fair.

As part of the “ArKol – development of architecturally highly integrated façade collectors with heat pipes” project, Fraunhofer ISE together with its partners...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Sustainable Water use in Agriculture in Eastern Europe and Central Asia

19.01.2017 | Event News

12V, 48V, high-voltage – trends in E/E automotive architecture

10.01.2017 | Event News

2nd Conference on Non-Textual Information on 10 and 11 May 2017 in Hannover

09.01.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Helmholtz International Fellow Award for Sarah Amalia Teichmann

20.01.2017 | Awards Funding

An innovative high-performance material: biofibers made from green lacewing silk

20.01.2017 | Materials Sciences

Ion treatments for cardiac arrhythmia — Non-invasive alternative to catheter-based surgery

20.01.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>