Marika Spring

Marika Spring
National Gallery, London · Scientific Department

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37
Publications
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Publications

Publications (37)
Conference Paper
Optical Coherence Tomography has been successfully applied to the non-invasive imaging of subsurface microstructure of a variety of materials from biological tissues to painted objects of art. One of the limitations of the technique is the low depth of penetration due to the strong scattering and absorption in the material. Previous studies found t...
Article
Full-text available
In the last 10 years, Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT) has been successfully applied to art conservation, history and archaeology. OCT has the potential to become a routine non-invasive tool in museums allowing cross-section imaging anywhere on an intact object where there are no other methods of obtaining subsurface information. While current co...
Article
of a paper presented at Microscopy and Microanalysis 2013 in Indianapolis, Indiana, USA, August 4 – August 8, 2013.
Article
Optical coherence tomography (OCT) has been shown to have potential for important applications in the field of art conservation and archaeology due to its ability to image subsurface microstructures non-invasively. However, its depth of penetration in painted objects is limited due to the strong scattering properties of artists’ paints. VIS–NIR (40...
Article
The blue pigment smalt, a potash silicate glass coloured with cobalt, was common between the sixteenth and eighteenth centuries. The composition is complex and can vary considerably depending on the manufacturing process and the elements that are present in the raw materials in addition to the essential silica, potassium and cobalt. It also often d...
Article
Smalt was commonly used as a pigment by artists between the 16th and 18th centuries. It is a powdered blue potash glass colored by cobalt ions and often degrades causing dramatic changes in the appearance of paintings. The aim of the work presented in this paper was to investigate the changes in the structure and environment around the cobalt ion o...
Article
We present and characterize a sequential angular compounding method for reducing speckle contrast in optical coherence tomography images of paint layers. The results are compared with postprocessing methods, and we show that the compounding technique can improve the speckle contrast ratio in B-scans by better than a factor of 2 in exchange for a ne...
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Full-text available
There has been a long tradition of applying biomedical imaging techniques to the examination of historical artefacts, owing to similar demands for non-invasive methods in both fields. Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT) is no exception. We review the achievements on OCT applications to art conservation and archaeology since the publication of the fi...
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The potential of attenuated total reflection Fourier transform infrared (ATR-FTIR) imaging for the characterisation of the chemical components of paint cross sections from old master paintings was investigated. Three cross sections were chosen to cover a variety of the analytical problems encountered in samples from paintings. The binding medium an...
Article
An unusual green pigment was found on a seventeenth-century kuan cai (Coromandel) lacquer screen at the Victoria and Albert Museum, London. The particles are perfectly spherical and translucent, with the appearance of green fish roe. Analysis revealed that the pigment is a copper resinate, produced by reacting a copper salt with a resin, probably o...
Article
Full-text available
Optical coherence tomography (OCT) is a fast scanning Michelson interferometer originally designed for in vivo imaging of the eye. In 2004, our group along with two other groups first reported the application of OCT to art conservation and archaeology. Since that time we have been conducting a project to investigate systematically the potential of...
Article
Full-text available
Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT) systems are fast scanning infrared Michelson interferometers designed for the non-invasive examination of the interiors of the eye and subsurface structures of biological tissues. OCT has recently been applied to the non-invasive examinations of the stratigraphy of paintings and museum artefacts. So far this is th...
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Full-text available
Cochineal and, later, madder were the most important natural dyes used for red lake pigments in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. However, as a result of developments in the technology of the dyestuffs and in the processes involved in pigment making, eighteenth- and nineteenth-century lakes show important differences to those made from the s...
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Full-text available
Vasari listed Giannicola di Paolo (active 1499; died 1544) as one of Perugino's discepoli, that is, someone trained in his workshop. The technical examination of the National Gallery's Annunciation (NG 1104) of around 1500 attributed to Giannicola is presented, and the insight the study gives into the operation of Perugino's workshop is discussed....
Article
During the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries, city guilds strictly regulated the quality of materials used to produce painted artefacts. The use of gold, ultramarine and other expensive materials was rigorously controlled, and stipulations were also made concerning the use of cheaper pigments. The Munich painters' guild ordinances of 1448 forbade t...
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Full-text available
The substrate of a traditional red lake pigment, usually assumed to be a form of hydrated alumina, is as important a constituent as the dyestuff, influencing its colour, transparency, working properties and permanence. Analysis of both inorganic and organic constituents was carried out on lake pigments made in the laboratory following historical re...
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Mazo's portrait of Queen Mariana of Spain in Mourning, dated 1666, is one of two known signed paintings by the artist. Mazo's career was overshadowed by his master and father-in-law, Velázquez, and his chief responsibility was to emulate Velázquez's style in copies and adaptations of portraits mostly of Philip 1V and his family. Problems over the a...
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Reviews Raphael's working methods in the early part of his career and presents the technical findings of the seven early works by Raphael in the collection of the National Gallery. The article is intended to complement the exhibition catalogue Raphael: From Urbino to Rome. General features of Raphael's paintings include the use of panel supports, g...
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A number of black pigments have been identified in 16th-century Italian paintings in the National Gallery (London). The "black earths" are a category of black pigments referred to as black chalks and black stone pigments. Coal-type blacks are now considered as common as other carbon blacks at the end of the 15th and beginning of the 16th centuries....
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Full-text available
Translucent white lumps or inclusions in red lead and lead-tin yellow type I paint layers are discussed in detail. These lumps are described as varying in size. Most often visible under the microscope and sometimes to the naked eye, the inclusions impart a gritty texture to paint films. Inclusions are found to be ubiquitous in European oil painting...
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Ten paintings that predate the introduction of wet-process vermilion, known to blacken as a result of impurities, were examined and analysed. Vermilion had deteriorated to different extents on the same painting and had turned completely grey in some areas, lilac-grey in others. The discolouration consists of a thin blackened layer overlying coarser...
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Il Garafolo worked in Ferrara for almost the first half of the 16th century, and his technique is related to that of Dosso Dossi. Eight of his paintings are illustrated and discussed in terms of their poplar or canvas support, calcium sulfate priming, underdrawing, use of reserves, walnut oil medium and stiff paint, limited pigment range, and gener...
Article
The National Gallery version of this work, which has changed colour, is compared to the same scene painted by Luca Longhi, once attributed to Zuccaro or Carletto Caliari. Deterioration of smalt, fading of a red lake (analysis suggested cochineal), and the discolouration of green copper-containing glazes are responsible. These are discussed in some...
Article
The occurrence of fluorite (calcium fluoride) in 10 paintings is discussed. Most uses date from 1470-1520 and occur on panels, polychrome sculpture, and wall paintings from the Tyrol or southern Germany, where it was a locally extracted material and a by-product of mining for other materials. The other uses occur in works painted close to known sma...
Article
This panel and its frame are compared with altarpieces of similar date by the artist. The panel has a chalk ground on the front and a dolomite ground on the reverse. The drawing is transparent to IR and may be in iron gall ink, but where visible it is consistent with the attribution. The relief pattern of the gilded background has been carved into...
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Paint samples from nearly 140 sixteenth-century Italian panels and canvases in the National Gallery, London, have been examined to determine the nature of their preparatory layers. The results are presented in tables organized by colour. These tables are subdivided into three geographical regions, roughly equivalent to the established art-historica...
Article
This paper is based on technical examination of the painted panels of the Santa Marina retable, c. 1490, attributed to a Castilian painter called the Master of Palanquinos. There are two distinct styles of underdrawing, painting and gilding, indicating that two different painters worked on the retable, at least from the underdrawing stage onwards....
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A number of works from the 1570s are examined. The four Allegories of Love, NG 1318, 1324-6, were likely to have been ceiling paintings, and have common techniques, including many sixteenth-century Venetian ones for painting on canvas; they are less closely related to fresco painting than once thought. Colour changes have occurred due to lining of...
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Three of Veronese's paintings are discussed: Christ Addressing a Kneeling Woman, NG 931, The Consecration of Saint Nicholas, NG 26, and The Family of Darius before Alexander, NG 294, which have a similar tonality. All have a gesso ground and the first two have a warm-toned imprimatura. Veronese's methods and use of pigments is then presented and il...

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