The 4th course of the INTERNATIONAL SCHOOL OF STRUCTURAL AND MOLECULAR ARCHAEOLOGY «HUBERT CURIEN» was organized in the «Ettore Majorana» Foundation and Centre for Scientific Culture between April 7 (arrival) – April 13 (departure) 2015 in Erice, Sicily (Italy) by Margareth Conkey (Berkeley University) and Philippe Walter (LAMS-CNRS/UPMC).
The theme was “The materiality of artistic creation: weaving visual culture and chemistry”
- Director of the EMFCSC : Antonino Zichichi
- Director of the School: Georges Tsoucaris
- Directors of the Course: Margaret Conkey, University of California, Berkeley, USA and Philippe Walter, Université Pierre et Marie Curie and CNRS, Paris, France
This school was supported by Sorbonne Universités (program POLYRE), EMFCSC, CNRS, and UPMC
Scope of the workshop:
The concept of Visual Culture that emerged in the early 1970s has sought to assess how, in a given society, social factors and experiences of everyday life promote the formation of characteristic visual traditions, which are clearly identifiable in the production of images. It seems interesting today to conduct a similar approach, which takes into account the material dimensions of artistic creation. Indeed, it is often thought that links established between the arts and other core activities of a society, particularly the technical and scientific activities, may induce an evolution in artistic styles.
Adaptation and effective integration within artistic practices of a technique or a new pigment or medium allowed the artists to produce works of art that explored nature and their worlds in a new way. This materiality is identifiable by observing and analyzing the materials constitutive of the works of art as well as any other documents relating to artistic practices. This School aims to discuss the implementation of such interdisciplinary research aimed at studying painting production, drawing, printmaking, sculpture and other “arts” by the interweaving of glances over two periods which, although very different, can lead to the same kinds of consideration: Prehistory and the Renaissance.
Session 1 : Introduction
- Meg Conkey (University of California, Berkeley, USA) – Visual Thinking, Visual Theory: Framing our understandings of the human engagement with images and materials
- Philippe Walter (LAMS, UPMC, Paris, France) – Studying materiality in artistic creation
- Spike Bucklow (Hamilton Kerr Institute, University of Cambridge, UK): Reproducing works of art
Session 2 : Chemical characterization of painting materials
- David Strivay (Centre Européen d’Archéométrie, Univ. Liège, Belgium) – Prehistoric and Renaissance art: A comparative review of analytical techniques
- Matthias Alfeld (Deutsches Elektronen-Synchrotron DESY, Hamburg, Germany) – Large scale XRF imaging of historical paintings – Capabilities and Limitations
- Caroline Tokarski (Univ. Lille, France) – Binders analyses in artworks: current performances and challenges
Session 3: Looking at prehistoric art
- Oscar Moro Abadía (Memorial University, Newfoundland, Canada) – Prehistoric personal ornaments: from ‘trinkets’ to artistic objects?
- Carolyn Boyd (Shumla, Texas, USA) – Layers of Meaning: Identifying and managing stratigraphy in Lower Pecos rock art.
Session 4 : Technical challenges for the painters during the Renaissance
- Claudio Seccaroni (ENEA, Roma, Italy) – Some of Raphael’s Painting analyzed through XRF analysis
- Barbara Berrie (National Gallery of Art, Washington, USA) – The addition of smalt and lead tin antimony yellow to the artist’s palette in the sixteenth century
- Laurence de Viguerie (LAMS, UPMC, France): Reconstruction of oil paint recipes to study their properties (handling, appearance, drying and ageing).
- Laure Chevallier (Agalmata, Paris, France): Reinterpretation of the Madonna dei garofani: on the basis of scientific analysis, an original revealed
Session 5 : Analyzing works of art from the Renaissance
- Iwona Szmelter (Univ. Warsaw, Poland) – The transition into the Flemish Renaissance based on the multi criteria research of The Last Judgement by Rogier van der Weyden and Hans Memling
- Angela Cerasuolo (Museo di Capodimonte, Napoli, Italy) – On the appearance of paintings during the Renaissance period
- Robert van Langh (Rijskmuseum, Amsterdam, NL) – How bronze sculptures have been manufactured throughout time and how we can understand the production process by studying the materials involved
Session 6 : Analyzing Prehistoric art
- Jo McDonald (University of Western Australia, Perth) – Starting to look at the materiality of Aboriginal rock art: Charcoal dating and pigment analyses in the Western Desert of Australia
- Jan Simek (University of Tennessee, USA), Sierra Bow (UT), Alan Cressler (USGS), Jeffrey Moersch (UT) and Steven Yerka (UT) – The Cosmos Revealed: Prehistoric Mississippian paint technology, iconography, and ritual landscapes in the Southeastern US.
Session 7: Combining different approaches for the understanding of artistic creations
- Helen Glanville (LAMS, Paris, France) – From imitation to the emulation of nature: From Leonardo to Titian
- Ana González Mozo (Museo Nacional del Prado, Madrid, Spain): Natural history and art materials
- Philippe Jockey (Aix-Marseille and LAMS, Paris): On the polychromy of the Greek sculptures
Short Communications :
- Florence Le Boulc’h (Aix- Marseille University, FR), with Valérie Gontero-Lauze : Meeting of medieval literature and chemistry
- Emeline Pouyet (CEA, Grenoble, FR): Synchrotron-based micro-analytical techniques for the studies of paintings.
- Maud Mulliez (LAMS, Paris, FR): Experimental Archaeology applied to Roman Wall Painting Technique
- Vittorio Barra (IT): Multispectral Imaging. The Methodology and the Case Study of the Madonna della Gatta by Giulio Romano at the Museum of Capodimonte in Naples.
- Tiphaine Fabris (ESRF, Grenoble, FR), with Marine Cotte, Laurence De Viguerie, Vicente Armando Solé : Watching kinetic studies as chemical maps using PyMca ROI Imaging