Title
Visualizing the 17th century underpainting in Portrait of an Old Man by Rembrandt van Rijn using synchrotron-based scanning macro-XRF Visualizing the 17th century underpainting in Portrait of an Old Man by Rembrandt van Rijn using synchrotron-based scanning macro-XRF
Author
Faculty/Department
Faculty of Sciences. Chemistry
Publication type
article
Publication
Heidelberg ,
Subject
Physics
Source (journal)
Applied physics A: materials science & processing. - Heidelberg
Volume/pages
111(2013) :1 , p. 157-164
ISSN
0947-8396
ISI
000316075700019
Carrier
E
Target language
English (eng)
Full text (Publishers DOI)
Affiliation
University of Antwerp
Abstract
In 17th century Old Master Paintings, the underpainting generally refers to the first sketch of a composition. The underpainting is applied to a prepared ground using a monochrome, brown oil paint to roughly indicate light, shade and contours. So far, methods to visualize the underpainting-other than in localized cross-sections-have been very limited. Neither infrared reflectography nor neutron induced autoradiography have proven to be practical, adequate visualization tools. Thus, although of fundamental interest in the understanding of a painting's genesis, the underpainting has virtually escaped all imaging efforts. In this contribution we will show that 17th century underpainting may consist of a highly heterogeneous mixture of pigments, including copper pigments. We suggest that this brown pigment mixture is actually the recycled left-over of a palette scraping. With copper as the heaviest exclusive elemental component, we will hence show in a case study on a Portrait of an Old Man attributed to Rembrandt van Rijn how scanning macro-XRF can be used to efficiently visualize the underpainting below the surface painting and how this information can contribute to the discussion of the painting's authenticity.
E-info
https://repository.uantwerpen.be/docman/iruaauth/90b86a/cac3849.pdf
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