Painting Conservation

Microscopy and research


LEICA M320 Stereomicroscope with full Video Capture

Following in-depth investigation by Iziko scientists of possible microscopes for use in painting conservation , the new Leica M320 Stereomicroscope with full Video Capture was acquired in September 2014. A stereo microscope with low magnification is a valued tool that allows the closest examination of the finest details in paintings, including brush stokes, glazes or the surface topography. It is also possible to see the layer structure or stratigraphy of the painting, which allows a more detailed understanding of both the researched painting and the painter.

A highlighted research project using the Leica microscope was carried out in early 2015 by Bronwyn Leone, PG Dip (Cons) from the Courtauld Institute of Art, and MSc in Sustainable Heritage from The Bartlett, University College London. This was made possible through the generous support of the Sir A. Bailey Bequest, as it was not only for the examination and research of one of the fine Bailey Bequest paintings but also for the treatment thereof. During this project a number of educational visits took place including those by Iziko Social History Conservators, a school with Iziko Educators, the Friends of the National Gallery and an Honours in Curatorship student.

When writing condition reports, the Honours in Curatorship students also benefited enormously from the in-depth study of their paintings using the stereomicroscope.


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Click the image for a view of: Bronwyn Leone using the Leica Microscope, photograph by A. Zehnder
Bronwyn Leone using the Leica Microscope, photograph by A. Zehnder
Click the image for a view of: Iziko team examining the Leica microscope prior to purchase with Teched, photograph by C. Beyer.
Iziko team examining the Leica microscope prior to purchase with Teched, photograph by C. Beyer.
Posted: 2015/06/30 (11:37:18 AM)
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