Netherlands Institute for Conservation, Art and Science

NICAS Colloquium

09Feb2017 12:00 - 13:00


We are very pleased to announce the next edition of the NICAS Colloquium on Thursday 9 February from 12.00 to 13.00 hrs. The colloquium will take place in conference room B of the Atelier Building (Hobbemastraat 22, Amsterdam).

The colloquium will start with the presentation by Maartje Stols-Witlox that was originally scheduled for 26 January but didn't take place then due to time constraints. The chair of this colloquium will be Indra Kneepkens (University of Amsterdam), PhD-researcher.

The presenters during the colloquium are:

  • Maartje Stols-Witlox - Scientific Reasoning in Art (Acronym: SciRe). An introduction into the SciRe project, evaluating evidence in paintings research using a Bayesian approach.

Questions of provenance and attribution have long since motivated art historical research. Current authentication studies combine traditional humanities-based methods with scientific investigation using instrumental analysis. Establishing the relative weight of information delivered by different specialists is a growing challenge. The Bayesian framework for interpretation of evidence shows great promise in dealing with this issue. Introducing this mathematical system to calculate the probability of hypotheses based on various pieces of evidence will strengthen the scientific basis for (art) historical and scientific studies of art. Bayesian frameworks will sharpen research methodologies by pointing to weak areas and will help researchers focus on relevant issues.

Maartje Stols-Witlox  was educated as an art historian and paintings conservator. She is currently assistant professor of paintings conservation at the University of Amsterdam. She specialises in research on historical recipes for painting materials and for conservation, as well as their reconstruction. Within the Science4Arts PAinT project, she focused on the reconstruction of historical recipes for the cleaning of oil paintings, research for which she also received a grant from the UvA University Fund. She is Principal Investigator of the NICAS SciRe project. Her involvement in this project stem from her interest in improving research methodologies in the field of conservation.

  • Cecilia Gauvin - The Van Mekeren cabinets, a comparative study of indoor climate induced deformation.

The 17th-century cabinets by Jan van Mekeren (1658-1733), within the collections of the Rijksmuseum and Amerongen castle in the Netherlands, are important case studies within the Climate4Wood project. One of the Van Mekeren cabinets at Amerongen castle and the one at the Rijksmuseum are monitored by several Deformometric Kit - out-of-plan deformation sensors – placed at several spots on both cabinets in order to access reliable comparative measurements. Also the micro-climate inside and around the cabinets is monitored. Moreover, the global mechanical behaviour of the cabinet in Amerongen castle is monitored by full-field measurement using DIC (Digital Image Correlation). By monitoring these two cabinets during one year, substantial information is gained about the effect of the surrounding micro-climate on the mechanical response of the objects. The presentation will focus on the setup of this experiment.

Cecilia Gauvin is trained as an engineer in material science. Since 2015 Cecilia is involve in Climate4Wood project (Science4Art program from NWO) as post-doctoral researcher on experimental and in-situ study of decorated wooden panel. In 2015 she finished her PhD in mechanics on wood at Montpellier University. She did an experimental and numerical study of the hygromechanics behaviour of wooden panel. Application to conservation and restoration of panel painting from cultural heritage. Cecilia is involved in the mechanical expertise of Mona Lisa since 2012.

More information about the NICAS Colloquium can be found here.

Published by  NICAS