Art history laboratory

Art history laboratory

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Credit: MARCO ANSALONI/EURELIOS/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Art history laboratory. Art historians working with a 1:1 scale X-ray of a painting. This X-ray is of the portrait of the Comtesse de Chinchon, by Francisco Goya (1746-1828). Standard forensic art analysis includes techniques like X-ray scans and infrared reflectology. The results allow art historians to trace the stages in the composition of a painting, as well as revealing traces of earlier artworks, hidden below the final painting. The techniques are also used to detect fraudulent copies of paintings. Photographed in the Museo del Prado, Madrid, Spain.

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