This edition of the Technical Art History Colloquium will be organised at the Ateliergebouw in Amsterdam and focuses on the use of painters' palettes.
Three lectures will be presented during the colloquium:
Celine Talon, Paintings Conservator and Art Historian, Brussels
Celine Talon will present the framework for her ongoing research into the palettes of Northern painters,
as depicted in paintings and illuminations. The aspects she considers include their shape and size, as well
as the variety of colours represented on them. This is combined with material analysis of paintings, and
contemporary discourse and treatises on colour. In this presentation, she will focus on small fifteenth-and
early sixteenth-century palettes, and their correlation with medieval colour aesthetics and the
development of the oil medium. A self-portrait by Catharina Van Hemessen’s will be used as a case study.
Dr. Gianluca Pastorelli, Conservation Scientist, Centre for Art Technological Studies and Conservation (CATS), Copenhagen
Painters’ tools and materials are recurrent themes in trompe l’oeil paintings by Cornelis Nobertus
Gijsbrechts (c. 1640 – c. 1675), including palettes arranged according to tradition. Did the colours on
Gijsbrechts’ illusionary palettes mirror the actual materials – and thereby the painting practice of his time
– or did they serve as another layer of optical illusion or iconographic message? Using a range of noninvasive
analytical techniques, the composition of the paints in Gijsbrechts’ painted palettes were
investigated and compared to 17th-century painting practice.
Carol Pottasch, Senior Paintings Conservator, Mauritshuis, The Hague.
The 2016 exhibition at the Mauritshuis ‘Selfies of the Golden Age’ brought together 27 Dutch selfportraits,
half of which depict an artist with their palette. Conservators used handheld X-ray fluorescence
spectroscopy (HH-XRF) to investigate whether the paints represented on the palette were used in the rest
of the portrait. They also considered the brushes, the depiction of a “painting within the painting”, and
how the artists chose to portray themselves. Five self-portraits spanning different time periods and cities
in the Netherlands are presented as case studies: Jacob Willemsz Delff (Rotterdam, c. 1590), Judith Leyster
(Haarlem, c. 1630/32), Thomas Willeboirts Bosschaert (Antwerp, 1636/37), Cornelis Bisschop (Dordrecht,
1668), and Willem van Mieris (Leiden, c. 1705). The presentation will discuss what we can learn from these
Dr. Abbie Vandivere, University of Amsterdam / Mauritshuis.
Please send an email to email@example.com before 5 March