Thursday, March 01, 2012

National Gallery Technical Bulletins

The National Gallery has just made over 200 articles from its Technical Bulletins available for free download from the Gallery’s website.
X-ray machines, infrared cameras, microscopes and mass-spectrometers might not be the first things that come to mind when people think about the National Gallery. However, they are essential to the research of the Scientific and Conservation departments, who work behind the scenes to investigate and preserve paintings in the collection.
Their vital research is charted in the National Gallery Technical Bulletin, which – since its launch in 1977 – has achieved a leading position in documenting the scientific examination of paintings. Previously only available in print form or by subscription, the digitisation of all 32 volumes of the Bulletin allows a wider audience to access unique research at the Gallery.
Over 200 articles can now be downloaded free from the Gallery's website. They provide insight into the materials and methods used by artists historically, the conservation and treatment of paintings, and how 21st-century scientific techniques can shed light on artworks of the past. Other articles deal with preventive conservation and digital documentation of paintings.