Publication
Title
Visualizing the 17th century underpainting in Portrait of an Old Man by Rembrandt van Rijn using synchrotron-based scanning macro-XRF
Author
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.
Language
English
Source (journal)
Applied physics A: materials science & processing. - Heidelberg
Publication
Heidelberg : 2013
ISSN
0947-8396
Volume/pages
111:1(2013), p. 157-164
ISI
000316075700019
Full text (Publishers DOI)
Full text (publishers version - intranet only)
UAntwerpen
Faculty/Department
Research group
Publication type
Subject
Affiliation
Publications with a UAntwerp address
External links
Web of Science
Record
Identification
Creation 05.06.2013
Last edited 10.05.2017
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