Detail captured by Phase One's multispectral camera

A conservation analysis project of two Pieter Bruegel masterpieces

In 2018, the Center For Art Technological Studies And Conservation (CATS) at The National Gallery of Denmark (SMK) conducted research involving two of Pieter Bruegel, The Elder’s masterpieces: The Strife Of Lent and Winter Scenery, as part of a conservation project.

The project was carried out by Loa Ludvigsen, Anne Haack Christensen and Jørgen Wadum from SMK, and supported by Annette T. Keller, Phase One’s Multi-Spectral Imaging (MSI) specialist.

The equipment used was a Phase One XF IQ3 100MP Camera System and a set of special filters and Ultraviolet (UV), Infrared (IR) and visible (VIS) LED lights. The kit was designed to deliver a stack of images according to the Charisma Guidelines that allows for analysis of different components of the paintings:

  • Visible light: provides what the human eye is used to seeing, and is the reference for all images and documentation
  • Raking light: shows paint application, detailed brush strokes and surface structure
  • UV reflected (UV-R): analysis of pigment distribution and surface phenomenon
  • UV False color: analysis of pigment distribution and surface phenomenon
  • UV Fluorescence (UV-F): analysis of surface phenomenon, varnish layers and retouching or previous conservation work
  • IR Reflective (IRR): analysis of under-drawing, signature, retouching and pigment distribution
  • IR False color: for pigment distribution