ICM X-Ray machine with digital detector
Analysing overpainted artworks always holds many surprises for the researchers. With digital technology, the exploration process can be reduced to minutes. The low voltage portable X-ray data processing detector electronically transmits the image information to the computer. The duration of X-ray measurement is approximately 30 seconds. Digital images can be cropped together, thus even the areas which normally are invisible to the naked eye can be seen in full size.
Several types of repainted layers can be found on an examined painting; it could be an artistic variant, a display of a completely different topic, or even a layer of retouch. Nor should the common method of today’s counterfeiting be overlooked when a new, “valuable” work is made on an old but worthless painting that takes over the aging cracks of the original work, misleading the viewer. Making the painting underneath visible is one of the first steps in exposing forgeries.
Image under normal light
Coloured study of the Arrival of the Hungarians by Csontváry (self-portrait on a camel)
Its radiograph and Kaulbach: Lady with a Mandolin (Geraldine Farrar)