Naturwissenschaften und Technologie in der Kunst; Akademie der bildenden Künste Wien; Schillerplatz 3; 1010 Wien
Research > Projects Print

Research at our institute focuses on three major topics:

Documentation of art objects

Documentation of art objects

The holistic approach for the scientific documentation of works of art makes use of radiation in wavelength from X-rays to infrared (IR) in order to generate an image of the object as a whole visible to the naked eye. Most interesting in this filed are x-ray radiography, UV (ultraviolet)-fluorescence and IR-photography as well as infrared reflectography (IRR). These methods, which are in a strict sense non-destructive, accord well with the way art historians, archaeologists or conservators would like to treat works of art and therefore found early acceptance.

Material analysis

Material analysis

For the identification of the material composition of artworks primarily so-called non-destructive techniques play an important role. These are techniques where no sample material has to be taken from the object, leading to no changes of the artwork itself. These methods are based on x-ray fluorescence analysis (XRF). This method was used for the analysis of silver coins (Hoard of Becin, Trajan Denarii), gold objects from the Artemision temple in Ephesus, Turkey as well as for identification of pigments present in glagolitic manuscripts.

Degradation

Material stability and material degradation

An increasingly important part of our research focuses on material stability and long-term behavior. Here investigations have been performed to study the degradation behavior of objects of metal, glass or enamels. Additionally, the light stability of pigments, dyes and polymers in contemporary art has been investigated.