Scientific techniques

Scientific Techniques

Are new scientific techniques the answer to unlocking the secrets of Tudor portraits?

Infrared reflectography
A technique used to reveal under-drawings and changes in the initial design
Paint analysis
An investigation of microscopic pigment samples in order to help with dating
Dendrochronology
An examination of tree rings which can help to provide the earliest felling dates for the wood used in a panel. The technique can also indicate the geographical origin of the wood
X-ray
A technique used to identify changes in composition beneath the surface of the paint layers
Microscopic examination and photography
An examination of the construction of paint layers and glazes
Ultraviolet investigation
A method which helps to reveal old restoration and varnish layers

The Conservation Studio

The Conservation Studio
at the National Portrait Gallery