Conservation and Restoration

Photographer: Dirk Gillissen

prof. dr. M.R. (Maarten) van Bommel

Natuurwetenschappelijke aspecten van conservering en restauratie van roerend cultureel erfgoed
  • Faculty of Humanities
    Faculty of Science
    T: 0205254120
    T: 0625534931
  • Joh. Vermeerplein 1, 1071 DV Amsterdam

Maarten van Bommel is Professor of Conservation Science At the faculty of Humanities and the Faculty of Science. He is chair of the section Restoration and Conservation of Cultural Heritage (Department of Arts & Culture). In addition, he is member of the Van 't Hoff Institute for Molecular Science. Van Bommel's is member of the Scientific Working Group of the Netherlands Institute for Conservation, Art and Sciencer (NICAS), which is currently being established, in which the Rijksmuseum, the Cultural Heritage Agency of the Netherlands, Delft University of Technology and the UvA are clustering their strengths.

Maarten van Bommel studies the characterisation and behaviour of dyes and organic pigments, both of natural and synthetic origin, and their application in moveable cultural heritage. The research entails chemical analysis, the study of historical sources, the production of reconstructions and the study of degradation mechanisms. The ultimate aim is to obtain a better understanding of the original appearance of artistic and cultural objects so that they may be placed in their historical context and presented accordingly.

Van Bommel is also engaged in the scientific study of conservation and restoration practices, taking both a theoretical and applied approach. As the appointment is to both the Faculty of Humanities and the Van 't Hoff Institute for Molecular Sciences (HIMS - Faculty of Science), it builds a bridge between art and culture studies on the one hand, and sciences on the other - two disciplines of equal and significant importance to restorers. Van Bommel has been employed as a senior scientist at the Cultural Heritage Agency since 2011. He worked previously as a programme leader and senior researcher for the Netherlands Institute for Cultural Heritage, whose work includes managing the Dutch State’s art collection. Van Bommel has published numerous articles. The books he has co-authored include Inside Out Victory Boogie Woogie; a Material History of Mondrian’s Masterpiece (Amsterdam University Press, 2012).

Guus Verhaar (UvA): Glass sickness - its detection, prevention and treatment

Supervisors: Norman Tennent, Maarten van Bommel


Ana Serrano (CHAM): The Red Road of the Iberian Expansion: cochineal and the global dye trade.

Supervisors: Jessica Hallett, Maarten van Bommel


Kate van Lookeren Campagne: Developments in the technology of tin-glaze tile production in the Northern Netherlands between 1580 and 1850 and the influence on susceptibility for glaze deterioration.

Supervisors: Maarten van Bommel, Norman Tennent


  • van Dam, E., van den Berg, K. J., Proaño Gaibor, A. N., & van Bommel, M. R. (2017). Analysis of triglyceride degradation products in drying oils and oilpaints using LC–ESI-MS. International Journal of Mass Spectrometry, 413, 33-42. DOI: 10.1016/j.ijms.2016.09.004 
  • Han, J., Wanrooij, J., van Bommel, M., & Quye, A. (2017). Characterisation of chemical components for identifying historical Chinese textile dyes by ultra high performance liquid chromatography - photodiode array - electrospray ionisation mass spectrometer. Journal of Chromatography A, 1479, 87-96. DOI: 10.1016/j.chroma.2016.11.044 
  • Han, J., Wanrooij, J., van Bommel, M. R., & Quye, A. (2017). Characterisation of chemical components for identifying historicalChinese textile dyes by ultra high performance liquid chromatography– photodiode array – electrospray ionisation mass spectrometer. Journal of Chromatography A, 1479, 87-96.


  • Pirok, B. W. J., Knip, J., van Bommel, M. R., & Schoenmakers, P. J. (2016). Characterization of synthetic dyes by comprehensive two-dimensional liquid chromatography combining ion-exchange chromatography and fast ion-pair reversed-phase chromatography. Journal of Chromatography A, 1436, 141-146. DOI: 10.1016/j.chroma.2016.01.070  [details] 
  • Verhaar, G., van Bommel, M. R., & Tennent, N. H. (2016). Weeping Glass: The Identification of Ionic Species on the Surface of Vessel Glass Using Ion Chromatography. In H. Roemich, & L. Fair (Eds.), Recent advances in glass and ceramics conservation 2016: ICOM-CC Glass and Ceramics working group interim meeting (pp. 123-133). Paris: International Council of Museums. [details] 


  • Hartl, A., Proaño Gaibor, A. N., van Bommel, M. R., & Hofmann-de Keijzer, R. (2015). Searching for blue: Experiments with woad fermentation vats and an explanation of the colours through dye analysis. Journal of Archaeological Science, (2), 9-39.
  • Hartl, A., van Bommel, M. R., Joosten, I., Hoffman-de Keijzer, R., Grömer, K., Rösel-Maurendorfer, H., & Reschreiter, H. (2015). Reproducing colourful woven bands from the Iron Age salt mine of Hallstatt in Austria: An interdisciplinary approach to acquire knowledge of prehistoric dyeing technology. Journal of Archaeological Science, (2), 569-595.
  • Lipkin, S., Vajanto, K., Kallio-Seppä, T., Kuokkanen, T., Niinimäki, S., Väre, T., & van Bommel, M. (2015). Funeral dress and textiles in 17th and 19th century burials in Ostrobothnia, Finland. In K. Grömer, & F. Pritchard (Eds.), Aspects of the design, production and use of textiles and clothing from the bronze age to the early modern era: NESAT XII, the North European Symposium of Archaeological Textiles (pp. 209-222). Budapest: Archaeolingua Alapítvány. [details] 
  • Serrano, A., Van den Doel, A., van Bommel, M., Hallett, J., Joosten, I., & van den Berg, K. J. (2015). Investigation of crimson-dyed fibres for a new approach on the characterization of cochineal and kermes dyes in historical textiles. Analytica Chimica Acta, 897, 116-127. DOI: 10.1016/j.aca.2015.09.046  [details] 


  • Vajanto, K., & van Bommel, M. R. (2014). DYED TEXTILES FROM LATE IRON AGE FINLAND. Archaeological Dialogues, 31, 61-78.


  • Lamain, B., van Bommel, M. R., Verhaar, G., & Tennent, N. H. (2013). The Development of an Ion Chromatography Protocol for Detecting the Early Stages of Glass Degradation. In H. Roemich, & K. van Lookeren Campagne (Eds.), Recent Advances in Glass, Stained-glass, and Ceramics Conservation 2013. (pp. 303-311). Zwolle: SPA uitgevers.


  • Verhaar, G., van Bommel, M. R., & Tennent, N. H. (2015). Identification and documentation of the early stages of glass sickness. In G. Eggert, & A. Fischer (Eds.), Glass Deterioration Colloquium - Extended Abstract. - Session I: Glass Deterioration & Conservation (pp. 18-21). Stuttgart: State Academy of Art and Design Stuttgart. [details] 


  • van Bommel, M. R., Janssen, H., & Spronk, R. (2014). After the Fact: Evaluating our Interdisciplinary Study of Mondrian's Victory Boogie Woogie. In A. Sgamellotti, B. G. Brunetti, & C. Miliani (Eds.), Science and Art, The Painted Surface. (pp. 427-443). London: Royal Society of Chemistry.


  • van Bommel, M. R., Jansen, H., & Spronk, R. (2012). Inside out Victory Boogie Woogie, A material history of Mondrian’s masterpiece. Amsterdam: Amsterdam University Press.


  • Confortin, D., Neevel, H., Brustolon, M., Franco, L., Kettelarij, A. J., Williams, R. M., & van Bommel, M. R. (2010). Crystal violet: Study of the photo-fading of an early synthetic dye in aqueous solution and on paper with HPLC-PDA, LC-MS and FORS. Journal of Physics. Conference Series, 231, 012011. DOI: 10.1088/1742-6596/231/1/012011  [details] 


  • van Bommel, M. R. (2015). Op zoek naar de ‘juiste’ kleur. In Handelingen: Van School tot Stijl, Modernisme in de Meubelkunst 1915-1940. (Vol. 11, pp. 5-9). Utrecht.
  • Timmer, J., & van Bommel, M. R. (2015). Synthetische kleurstoffen als beits op hout: een onderzoek naar de ontkleuring. In Handelingen: Van School tot Stijl, Modernisme in de Meubelkunst 1915-1940. (Vol. 11, pp. 10-17). Utrecht.
  • van Adrichem, F. B., van Bommel, M. R., Ligterink, F., & Nijhuis, S. M. (2015). Licht op Kramer: Retoucheren met gekleurd licht van ontkleurde anilinebeitsafwerkingen op Amsterdamse School-meubels. In M. Vasques Dias (Ed.), Van School tot Stijl: Modernisme in de meubelkunst 1915-1940. (Vol. 11, pp. 18-30). (Handelingen; Vol. 11). Utrecht.
  • Proaño Gaibor, A. N., & van Bommel, M. (2015). Hidden history behind the colorants of banners. In Proceedings of the 25th International Congress of Vexillology [details] 


  • Keune, K., Bisschoff, M., Raven, L., Geldof, M., van Keulen, H., Megens, L., ... Leeuwestein, M. (2016). Delamination due to Zinc Soap Formation in an Oil Painting by Piet Mondrian (1872-1944). Poster session presented at Metal Soaps in Art, Amsterdam, .


  • van Bommel, Maarten (2016): WETDRESS.
  • van Bommel, Maarten (2016): Back to the objects - Conservation strategies.
  • van Bommel, Maarten (2016): COLD - feasibility study.
  • van Bommel, Maarten (2015): IPERION-CH.
  • van Bommel, Maarten (2015): PAPTEX - Texts and Textiles in Late Antique Egypt.

Media appearance

  • van Bommel, Maarten (16-06-2017): Nieuw licht op oude kunstobjecten. Nieuw licht op oude kunstobjecten.
  • van Bommel, Maarten (14-04-2016): In Waddenzee gevonden jurk uit 17e eeuw tentoongesteld [Web] Hart van Nederland. 17th Century royal wardrobe found in the Wadden Sea.
  • van Bommel, Maarten (27-10-2015): Kleurenlab. Kleurenlab toont onderzoek naar conservering en reconstructie van kleur.

Journal editor

  • van Bommel, Maarten (reviewer) (2013-): Journal of dyes in History and Archaeology (Journal).

Talk / presentation

  • van Bommel, Maarten (invited speaker) (8-12-2016): Op zoek naar de ‘juiste’ kleur, Optimaliseren van Impact door Alfa– en Gammawetenschappen, Tilburg, Netherlands.
  • van Bommel, Maarten (speaker) (5-10-2016): Looking for the ‘right’ colour: Virtual retouching of an early 20th century cabinet designed by Piet Kramer, 35 annual meeting of Dyes in History and Archaeology, Pisa, Italy.
  • van Bommel, Maarten (invited speaker) (30-6-2016): Colours throughout the Centuries:From analytical result to object presentation, The University of Lisbon.
  • van Bommel, Maarten (invited speaker), Janssen, H. (speaker) & Spronk, R. (speaker) (20-4-2016): After the Fact: Evaluating our Interdisciplinary Study of Mondrian’s Victory Boogie Woogie, International conference and OSK Modern and Contemporary Section annual meeting, Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam.
  • Seymour, Kate (speaker) & van Bommel, Maarten (speaker) (15-4-2016): Experiential Learning: How science concepts are taught to Young Conservators, ICOM-CC Joint interim meeting, Boston, United States.
  • van Bommel, Maarten (invited speaker) (7-11-2015): Op zoek naar de ‘juiste’ kleur, Museumnacht bij Bijzondere Collecties & Allard Pierson Museum, Amsterdam, Netherlands.


  • van Bommel, Maarten (examiner) (30-11-2016): Naar inzicht en vakmanschap. A.-J. Roubo’s L’ Art du menuisier over interieurbouw en meubelmakerij in de achttiende eeuw. (examination).
  • van Bommel, Maarten (examiner) (29-6-2016): Between Concept and Material. Working with Conceptual Art: A Conservator’s Testimony (examination).
  • van Bommel, Maarten (participant) (28-10-2015 - 14-2-2016): Exhibition "Kleurenlab", coinciding the exhibition "Op zoek naar van Santen" (other).
This list of publications is extracted from the UvA-Current Research Information System. Questions? Ask the library  or the Pure staff  of your faculty / institute. Log in to Pure  to edit your publications.
  • Jour. of Dyes in Hist. and Archaeology
    Editorial board
  • Stichting Behoud Moderne Kunst

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