Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Infrared Photography reveals new details in medieval art

Two medieval art historians from Arizona have been using infrared photography – utilizing the invisible rays just beyond the red end of the visible spectrum – to learn about the original preliminary drawings for the painting, layers of paint, changes in the artist’s focus and more.

Corine Schleif, professor of art history at Arizona State University (ASU), and Volker Schier, an affiliate of the Arizona Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies, have been working since 2002 with this technology to better understand art works dating back to the Middle Ages.

Schleif, who spends her summers in Germany, often is asked to analyze paintings in the many churches in Nuremberg, most of which date back to the 1400s, and in fact, she already has studied a great many of them.

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