Non-invasive spectroscopy and imaging
A series of non-invasive in-situ spectroscopic and analyses with portable and imaging equipment of the European MOLAB platform was performed. This included macroscopic X-ray fluoresence analysis, Raman spectroscopy and Fourier-transform Infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy. The main purpose of these activities at the macro-level was to determine the nature of the pigments employed by Munch when painting The Scream and the distribution throughout the artwork.
Dr. Francesca Rosi, Dr. Costanza Miliani and Dr. Laura Cartechini (CNR, Italy) in front of The Scream (1910?) while performing portable FTIR measurements.Photo Credit: MOLAB - Italy (CNR, Italy).
Macroscopic XRF measurements of The Scream (1910?).
Watch a short Youtube video impression of the MOLAB measurement campaign at the Munch Museet in 2017.
Original paint fragments vs artificially aged mockup paints
To contrast the paint material originating from a flaked-off location of the painting, paint mockups were prepared using historical cadmium yellow pigment powder and artificially aged under different environmental conditions. In addition, paint sampled from an original paint tube employed by Edvard Munch was also involved in the investigation.
Various paint samples were examined with micro X-ray diffraction, X-ray micro fluorescence and micro X-ray absorption near edge structure spectroscopy at the ESRF, the European Synchrotron (Grenoble, France) and at the PETRA-III facility (Hamburg, Germany), two of world’s most powerful synchrotrons. The main aim was to study to which chemical changes had taken place in the cadmium-yellow pigment during the degradation.
Dr. Annalisa Chieli (University of Perugia, Italy), Dr. Letizia Monico (CNR, Italy) and Dr. Gert Nuyts (University of Antwerp, Belgium) during measurements of cadmium yellow micro-flakes of The Scream (1910?) at beamline ID21 of the European Synchrotron (ESRF, Grenoble, France). Credit: ESRF, Grenoble, France.
Dr. Gerald Falkenberg (DESY, Hamburg) checking the X-ray microprobe setup at Beamline P06 of the PETRA-III synchrotron facility.