A number of prominent publications, including Forbes, National Geographic, Smithsonian Magazine, and Archeology Magazine, have recently spotlighted the cutting-edge work of Eleonora Del Federico, professor of chemistry at Pratt Institute, and a network of scientists and researchers to restore a Roman painting in the ancient town of Herculaneum. The work was discovered in the early 20th century after being buried by soot and ash from an eruption of Mount Vesuvius in 79 A.D that led Herculaneum to suffer the same fate as Pompeii, which is located nearby.
Del Federico worked with a team that included Pratt School of Liberal Arts and Sciences faculty member Cindie Kehlet, professor in the department of Math and Science, and Pratt alumnae Haerin Kang, (B.A. Fine Arts ’17) and Megan Welchel (B.A. History of Art and Design ’07), who also serves as Math and Science Lab Technician at Pratt. The coverage has focused on how the team used a portable machine provided by XGLab, that allowed them to scan the painting, a portrait of a Roman woman, using a new type of high resolution X-ray technology.
In 2015, X-rays revealed a hidden figure in Rembrandt’s An Old Man in Military Costume. Scans of the abstract painter’s famous pieces revealed he sometimes used common house paints, rather than more pricey art oils, making him one of the first artists to do so.
The technique, which reveals how stunning the original painting was and gives information on materials and processes used to create it, could help conservators to more precisely restore the image as well as other ancient artworks.
“By unraveling the details of wall paintings that are no longer visible to the naked eye, we are in essence bringing these ancient people back to life,” Del Federico said in a press release. She believes that by learning about the quality and sophistication of a painting, characteristics such as the aspects of social life could be revealed.
Source : Sarah Gibbens , National Geographic
Read the articles in Forbes, Smithsonian Magazine, Archeology Magazine, and Sci-News.
Images: Courtesy of Roberto Alberti
Our 2013 MS graduate, Katelin Fallon, will be a presenter with professors Elenora Del Federico and Cindie Kehlet, at the conference Colours 2015: Bridging Science with Art at Évora University from 24 to 26 September. Her talk, “Reconstruction of Wall Paintings at Herculaneum”, is based on her thesis and describes how two of the reconstruction paintings from the House of the Neptune and Amphitrite Mosaic were created.
Artifex Press and Tim Hawkinson are pleased to announce the publication of Tim Hawkinson’s digital catalogue raisonné. To mark the public launch of this catalogue, the New York Public Library hosts a discussion between Tim Hawkinson; Hannah Barton, Editor of the Tim Hawkinson catalogue raisonné; and Peggy Fogelman, Acting Director of the Morgan Library and Museum, on March 10, 2015, at 6PM (doors open at 5:30PM). An introduction by David Grosz, President of Artifex Press, opens the event.
The event features a demonstration of the catalogue, an in-depth look at the breadth of Hawkinson’s career, and an exploration of the collaborative formation of the publication. The Tim Hawkinson catalogue raisonné is the latest example of Artifex Press’s “living catalogues raisonnés,” the publisher’s new take on this essential, authoritative artist catalogue, which documents in real time the most up-to-date incarnation of an artist’s complete body of work.
To see the full New York Public Library event announcement, click here.
This event is free and open to the public.
March 10, 2015, 6-8 PM
New York Public Library
Stephen A. Schwarzman Building
South Court Auditorium
5th Ave at 42nd St, New York, NY 10018