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NICAS Colloquium Online

14 January 2021 @ 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm CET


We are pleased to announce a new, online edition of the NICAS colloquium on Thursday 14 January 2021 from 12.00 to 13.00 hrs. The colloquium will take place online through Microsoft Teams.


Throughout the year, NICAS organises a bi-weekly Colloquium consisting of two short research lectures. It provides researchers with the opportunity to present ideas for, updates on or results of their activities. The NICAS Colloquium allows people to stay informed on a regular basis about the latest developments and results of research and to exchange information and expertise.



The chair of this colloquium will be Alba Alvarez Martin (Rijksmuseum)


The presenters are:


Indra KneepkensMasterful Mixtures. Practical aspects of fifteenth- and early sixteenth-century oil paint formulations.



Over the past years I have presented several parts of my PhD research, in which I systematically investigated the manufactory and effects of various processed linseed oils, and additives such as powdered glass, zinc sulfate and varnish on the properties of oil paints. In this presentation I discuss the role of these materials in relation to each other and the process of painting in general, based on the experience of making a full-scale reconstruction of a large section of The three Marys at the Tomb (1425-1435, Museum Boijmans van Beuningen); a painting that is tentatively attributed to Jan and Hubert van Eyck. I will also shortly reflect on the relation between art technological sources and roughly contemporary painting practice.



Indra Kneepkens has a Masters degree in Art History from the University of Amsterdam in 2012. After a brief period as junior technical researcher at the Rijksmuseum Amsterdam, she began working on her PhD thesis in 2014 with the Amsterdam School of Historical studies at the same university. Under supervision of professors Arie Wallert and Claudine Chavannes she has recently finished her dissertation, titled: Masterful Mixtures Practical aspects of fifteenth- and early sixteenth-century oil paint formulations. In this thesis she investigated the role of various processed linseed oils and paint additives such as powdered glass, zinc sulfate and varnish on the practice of oil painting at the time of Jan van Eyck and his successors. She will defend her dissertation on January 27th, 2021.

Since 2009 Indra has also been giving workshops and lectures in the bachelor and master curricula of Art History, and in the masters of ‘Conservation and Restoration’ and ‘Technical Art History’ at her university. She is particularly interested in early Netherlandish painting technique, art technological sources and their relation to practice as well as historically informed reconstruction experiments.



 Marta Domínguez-DelmásDutch shipbuilding and the Golden Age: insights from dendrochronological research on VOC Batavia shipwreck timbers



Ocean-going ships were key to the rising of maritime economies in the Early Modern Period. Shipwreck timbers hold evidence of the dynamics between wood availability, craftmanship, and evolution of ship designs that aided shaping the Early Modern world. Batavia, built in Amsterdam in 1628 and wrecked in 1629 in Western Australia waters, is the epitome of Dutch East India Company (VOC) shipbuilding. Our dendroarchaeological research on its shipwreck timbers demonstrates that the VOC successfully coped with timber shortages in the early 17th century and became the most successful enterprise by combining innovative ship designs with resource diversification. This combined strategy proved key to Dutch success in world-wide trade and contributed to the flourishing of the Dutch economy in the Golden Age. Our study therefore illustrates how dendrochronological investigation of wooden objects from museum collections contributes to enriching our historical knowledge.



Dr. Marta Domínguez-Delmás is a dendrochronologist with a multidisciplinary background in Forestry (BSc, MSc) and Cultural Heritage (MA, PhD), and a long track record researching (pre)historical wood from archaeological sites, historic buildings, shipwrecks, and art objects. Her research interests focus on how humans have used, managed, and traded timber resources since ancient times. The improvement of methods for provenancing historical wood and the combination of imaging techniques and AI to retrieve data from wooden art objects are also at the core of her interests. She has made important contributions to the field of dendroarchaeology in Europe and has recently expanded her portfolio working with Egyptian coffins and Japanese chests. Currently she works at the University of Amsterdam with her NWO-funded project Wood for Goods (https://www.nwo.nl/projecten/016veni195502-0).


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14 January 2021
12:00 pm - 1:00 pm CET
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