MENU

Complex painting analysis method

To use complex investigation methods to identify oil paintings and to filter fakes with an emphasis on art treasures from the 19th century. Another goal is to generate a web database which supports identification and quick searches.

The Complex Painting Analysis Method - CPAM consists of 5 optical techniques which have been combined to define the origin, provenance and genuineness of paintings. So far art historians have used only subjective methods to define oil paintings: they nowadays work with a UV (Ultraviolet) lamp and a magnifier. By using these methods, experts can draw conclusions about the artist of a painting only superficially. By means of our developed technology we offer an objective application instead of these subjective methods. On the auction market, pictures by famous painters change owners for a high price. These highly valuable paintings have been investigated with objective technologies such as X-ray, XRF and luminescence examinations in a few cases only. However most of the results do not increase the credibility of the auction market, but facilitate the restoration phase. After investigating the hidden layer and the metal-content of the painting, we can tell whether or not it was repainted in the past. The project will offer both an investigation method available for everyone and an extended painting analysis , which provides a summary of the ‘genetic’ conditions of paintings based on physical and chemical investigations. Fields of use: The main fields are categorising pictures at museums, auction markets and private collections, and making non-fakeable ‘fingerprints’ of painting and artefacts for researchers based on a searchable database of a pigment compound. Technologies used in the Complex Painting Analysis Method: 1) 3-dimensional data acquisition with 3D scanner. With this technology, repainted pictures can be filtered out, underlayers of restored paintings become visible and 3 dimensional data with the accuracy of microns recorded. With this investigation method, we document the condition of the paintings, and make the processed strokes, so that the mark of the artist is unrepeatable. 2) 3-dimensional data acquisition with a new multi-spectral 3D scanner: this technological development is entirely new in the market. The multi-spectral scanner allows for gathering 3D data from the non-visible parts of the paintings. This technological innovation is recommended in cases when bitumen is used. The paint layer under the bitumen becomes visible again; the structure of it can be measured in the XYZ coordinate system. 3D scans and 3D IR (Infrared) or ultra violet scans can be compared. 3) 2D colour, infrared, ultraviolet photography with high resolution digital camera. Distortions of 2D pictures made in different wavelengths can be measured by comparing them with each other. 4) Mobile direct digital X-ray apparatus to investigate repainted pictures. Searching for hidden pictures that can be part of the painter’s life-work to investigate the painting technique. Investigations of underpaintings and sketches. 5) XRF (x-ray fluorescent) analysis to chart the pigment substance of the paintings and to detect the representative colour use of artists based on a material compound. Searchable database and provenance determination of pictures with comparison analysis. The property of the method: The measurements (moisture, light, temperature) taken in accredited, monitored circumstances provide perfect, calibrated data from the pictures. Introduction of the ISO-standard to investigate art treasures (note: all the measuring systems are of ISO-standard).
Acronym: 
CPAM
Project ID: 
4 466
Start date: 
01-08-2008
Project Duration: 
24months
Project costs: 
620 000.00€
Technological Area: 
Other Non Destructive Testing
Market Area: 
Other leisure and recreational products and services

Raising the productivity and competitiveness of European businesses through technology. Boosting national economies on the international market, and strengthening the basis for sustainable prosperity and employment.