Re.S.Artes
Le regard de la Science sur les Arts et le patrimoine culturel

Techniques

Imaging

X-Ray imaging: paintings, sculptures (all materials)

The high energy X-rays permits the radiation to penetrate matter and to give a picture of the distribution of materials according to their thickness and density.

For a painting, the resulting image provides information about the paint layers and the support. It reveals the various stages of completion of the work and its state of conservation. Comparing this with the visible picture gives access, in particular, to retouched areas (restoration or pentimenti).

Radiography is also useful to reveal the internal structure of objects, their homogeneity and their state of conservation. This makes it possible to view modern elements into the sculptures, corresponding to structures intended to imitate the old styles (this can be seen for example on terra cotta or objects of art in metal).


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Download the document about X-ray imaging (FRENCH) image_pdf

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