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Versione italiana
Academic year
Didactic period
Secondo Semestre

Training objectives

Finality of the course is preparing the student to execute a scientific diagnostics of a pictorial work, using the physical techniques based on electronic acquisition of images and signals. At the end of the course any student will have tested by himself those techniques on paintings, verifying their informative power for material recognition, artwork conservation and restoration.


basic practice on personal computers

Course programme

The course deals with the most well known physical techniques applied to cultural heritage. Among these, image diagnostics such as documentary and raking light photography, UV fluorescence, IR reflectography, X-Ray radiography. Moreover, sampling techniques such as spectrophotometry and X-ray fluorescence.

All diagnostic techniques will be applied to authentic paintings in the laboratory and will be directly used by the students in drafting a report.
The interpretation of the results of these techniques is aimed at obtaining non-invasive information on the structure of the pictorial layers, on their composition and their alterations.

Didactic methods

Lectures and applications in lab

Learning assessment procedures

Written report on the activities carried out in the laboratory and oral exam
The report is drawn up by a group of 3-4 students, who perform together the diagnostics, and corrected before the examination. It receives an independent evaluation, which is averaged with the vote of the individual oral examination.

Reference texts

Aldrovandi, Picollo
Metodi di documentazione e indagini non invasive sui dipinti
Il Prato, Padova

Milazzo, Ludwig
Misurare l'arte
Bruno Mondadori
Collana Campus