Turner Research Project: information on painting materials via standard imaging techniques - Tate Research Repository
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Turner Research Project: information on painting materials via standard imaging techniques

1992

Abstract

A four-year project is in progress to investigate llw materials amt techniques of J.M.W. Turner, based on the 300 or so oil paintings and thousands of works on paper in the Turner Bequest at the Tate Gallery. A selection of paintings and watercolours is being studied, representative of Turner's output over a long life, and including sketches, unfinished and highly-finished works, in varying states of preservation. Ultra-violet exam-ination, examination with an infra-red vidicon and x-radiography have been carried out, in addition to microscopical examination and selective sampling of the paint for microscopical, chemical and instru-mental analysis. The usefulness of these standard imaging techniques in the study of works by a nineteenth century artist will be assessed, and punting materials which can be detected by imaging techniques alone will be noted. Ultra-violet examination is by far the most useful, from the viewpoint of materials identification. X-radiography can yield useful information too, especially in the examination of gouache and watercolour on paper. The infra-red vidicon is of very limited use for alia prima works.

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