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NICAS Colloquium Online

7 October 2021 @ 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm CEST


We are pleased to announce a new, online edition of the NICAS colloquium on Thursday 7 October 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 Marie-Noëlle Grison (NICAS Research Associate)


The presenters are:


 Marya Albrecht – Jan Steen’s eclectic use of green and blue pigments



Jan Steen, a prolific Dutch 17th-century artist, has been the focus of a research project at the Mauritshuis since 2012. The aim of the research project is to shed light on the chronology of his works based on the materials he used. Samples of green and blue areas on 37 paintings were analysed using optical microscopy, SEM–EDX and synchrotron μ-XRD. This showed that Steen used a large variety of blue and green pigments: smalt, ultramarine, blue verditer, azurite, indigo and green earth. Elemental analysis of the smalt used by Steen showed that it varies in composition in the different artistic centres Steen worked in. Ultramarine of different qualities was found in many paintings, even peasant scenes. His use of a brightly coloured type of green earth is remarkable, and this pigment was found in ten of the paintings analysed, dating from 1660 onwards.



Marya Albrecht graduated from the postgraduate programme in Conservation and Restoration of Cultural Heritage at the University of Amsterdam in 2014. During her postgraduate studies she has worked at the Stichting Restauratie Atelier Limburg in Maastricht, the Museo del Prado in Madrid and the Mauritshuis in The Hague. Since graduating she has worked at the Mauritshuis and as a freelance paintings conservator in The Hague, focusing on the research and treatment of old master paintings.



Sanne Berbers – 20th and 21st Century Oil Paints: Towards new analytical strategies for integrated lipid and synthetic organic pigment analysis



In this NICAS-colloquium presentation, Sanne Berbers will  share her PhD project which she started in September 2021. The research will focus on the relation between lipids and synthetic organic pigments (SOP’s). The combination of SOP’s and oil paint in 20th and 21st century oil paints has been shown to give problem of solubility of the paint, migration of SOP components, and colour fading. The lipid fraction and SOP’s of these paints have not yet been studied in relation to each other. This includes both chemical changes and interactions that occur at the start of the drying process and those that occur when the painting ages over time.



Sanne Berbers is a research scientist working at the Cultural Heritage Agency. She has a master degree in analytical chemistry (UvA & VU Amsterdam) and restoration and conservation of cultural heritage (UvA, Amsterdam). She is now starting a part-time PhD project which is a collaboration between the Cultural Heritage Agency and the UvA – analytical chemistry research group.


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7 October 2021
12:00 pm - 1:00 pm CEST
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