One of the great things about new technology is that it can be used to reveil hidden parts in art pieces. There are many interesting running projects, such as the the Bosch Research and Conservation Project and one called Insidde. They use X-ray or 3D scanning technologies to find out details about paintings, which you normally couldn’t discover without damaging them.
In Den Bosch, The Netherlands, a team of experts is currently using X-ray scans to reveil what is beneath the painting of famous painter Jeroen Bosch. The answer is: often another painting (see image above), which the painter erased by coloring it up with a new figurine. The Bosch Research and Conservation Project has an own website where they publish their findings.
The Insidde project is EU-funded and it basically does a similar thing, but with 3D scanning technology. Using such scanning methods, the team can discover how the brushes have been used and which materials have been used. It’s a project by the Delft University of Technology and researchers are currently testing the technique.
Laurens van der Maaten from Delft University of Technology notes:
The scanner may show details on how a painting was made that are of great art-historical value, because they tell us more about how the painter worked; these details are also extremely helpful for conservators when preparing for the restoration of paintings.
In the near future the researchers will be scanning a variety of Bulgarian pots from the 3rd century. They have been sealed directly after they were found so they wouldn’t be damaged in any kind of way. However, this also implies that researchers haven’t been able to discover the contents behind the materials. with 3D scanning technology it is expected that they can find out more information about the pots.
Image credits: Bosch Research and Conservation Project.