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Thursday, May 29 • 4:30pm - 5:00pm
(Research and Technical Studies Session) A Closer Look at Early Italian Panel Paintings: Imaging Cross-sectional Paint Samples from the Walters Art Museum

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The early development of oil painting techniques before the age of Leonardo has brought about questions relating to materials that were used by these early Italian painters.  Recent advancements in technology and data interpretation have allowed scientists and conservators to explore inorganic and organic materials found in early Italian paintings. Sophisticated imaging techniques provide complementary information to conventional methods of analysis, such as cross-sectional staining, Fourier-transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR) and gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS), all of which are routinely employed in today’s museum and institutional laboratories.  Collaborative efforts between the conservation department at the Walters Art Museum and the University of Delaware have revealed new directions in cross-sectional analysis of 15th and early 16th-century Italian panel paintings.  Imaging time-of-flight secondary ion mass Spectrometry (ToF-SIMS) was used in the identification of binding media and inorganic pigments in samples collected from a total of three paintings in the Walters’s collection, ranging from Giovanni di Paolo to Raphael.  While the technique does require sampling, ToF-SIMS can be coupled with high resolution spatial imaging to map pigments, proteins, and oils in paint samples that have been stored for nearly half a century.  This has allowed the authors to use existing cross-sections in new research to identify paint materials, techniques, and degradation products. Spatial “maps” of binding media and pigments present in cross-sections may help to shed light on workshop practices, attributions, and other topics associated with provenance.

avatar for Kristin deGhetaldi

Kristin deGhetaldi

PhD Program in Preservation Studies, University of Delaware
Kristin de Ghetaldi is a painting conservator who graduated in 2008 with a Master of Science degree from the Winterthur/University of Delaware program in Conservation. She recently completed a three-year Andrew W. Mellon Fellowship in Painting Conservation at the National Gallery of Art working on the treatment of Old Master easel paintings. Under the guidance of scientists and conservators at the NGA, Kristin was given the opportunity to use a... Read More →


Eric Gordon

Head of Painting Conservation, The Walters Art Museum
Eric Gordon has been a painting conservator at the Walters Art Museum in Baltimore since 1985 and Head of Painting Conservation since 1996. He graduated from the New York University conservation program and interned at the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, the Intermuseum Conservation Laboratory in Oberlin, Ohio and at ICCROM/Rome. He worked at the Intermuseum Conservation Laboratory, The Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto and the... Read More →

Glenn Gates

Conservation Scientist, Walters Art Museum

Karen French

Senior Conservator of Paintings, The Walters Art Museum
Karen French has been conserving paintings for over 30 years; the last 20 plus of which have been at the Walters Art Museum in Baltimore, Maryland, where she is a senior conservator of paintings. Born and educated in the U.K., she trained in painting conservation at the Courtauld Institute of Art in London. She specialized in treating paintings on wooden panel, as well as canvas paintings, and broadened her experience by working in a variety of... Read More →

Pamela Betts

Associate Painting Conservator, The Walters Art Museum

Tom Beebe Jr.

Professor, University of Delaware

Zachary Voras

Ph.D. Student, University of Delaware

Thursday May 29, 2014 4:30pm - 5:00pm
Seacliff C-D