Recently, the macro XRF-scanner of the University of Antwerp visited Bruges. In the Groeningemuseum, two paintings by Jan van Eyck “Madonna with Canon Joris van der Paele” and “Portrait of Margareta van Eyck” were analyzed with the macro XRF-scanner by prof. Koen Janssens, prof. Geert Van der Snickt and Stijn Legrand.
This research was conducted in the spirit of the “Van Eyck Year 2020” and the VERONA (Van Eyck Research in OpeN Access) project. The VERONA project is a research project in which several museums, the Centre for the Study of the Flemish Primitives of the Royal Institute for Cultural Heritage and the University of Antwerp are collaborating. It is a large-scale research into the works of Jan van Eyck. The project started in 2014 and so far, twenty works by Jan van Eyck, including all works which can be attributed to him with certainty, have been examined. And the project is still in progress.
Macro XRF-scanning sheds light on which materials, where and how they were used by means of elemental distribution maps. In this manner, the resulting macro XRF-images of these two paintings allowed to discover more about Jan van Eyck’s working methods, the composition of the paint layers and first drawing on the panel.
Watch this video to learn more on the results of the macro XRF-scanning experiments explained by prof. Geert Van der Snickt.
To learn more about this chemical imaging technique developed by the AXES research group of the University of Antwerp go to In situ Macro X-Ray Fluorescence scanning of paintings and Chemical Imaging of Heritage Materials.
And in the spirit of the “Van Eyck Year 2020” visit the exhibition at Musea Brugge (12 March – 8 November 2020) to see the works of art in real life!