Netherlands Institute for Conservation, Art and Science

NICAS Colloquium

09Mar2017 09Feb2017 12:00


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

The chair of this colloquium will be Yuliia Orlova (University of Amsterdam), researcher with the PREDAGIO project.

The presenters during the colloquium are:


  • Martine Posthuma de Boer - Gilt Leather Artefacts: Material Characterization and Improved Conservation Strategies

Gilt leather was one of the most fashionable and costly types of wall hangings in the Western world in the 16th to 18th centuries. It now is an overlooked part of our cultural heritage. Of the many hundreds of gilt leathers in the Netherlands only 60 have survived in situ or in museum collections. Conservation work on gilt leather is a real challenge due to the complex nature of the material, historical craft-led conservation practices and a lack of systematic analytical research of degradation processes. The NICAS gilt leather seed money project explores how advanced analytical methods offer new research possibilities for technical art history and the conservation of gilt leather. The main objective is to present a research agenda for gilt leather, that can take conservation practice and scientific research of gilt leathers to the next level. It is an interdisciplinary collaboration between the RCE, SRAL, Restauratie Nijhoff Asser (RNA), the C&R-UvA and the TUDelft (departments of Aerospace Structures and Materials, and Materials Science and Engineering).

Martine Posthuma de Boer is conservator-restorer and researcher of painted and decorated surfaces in historic interiors, with a specialisation in gilt leather wall hangings. She holds degrees in Conservation and Restoration of Cultural Heritage at the University of Amsterdam (2015), and Art History at the University of Utrecht (2001). Martine coordinated the NICAS Gilt Leather Project in 2015-2016. 


  • Paolo D’Imporzano - An evaluation of the capability of isotope analysis to provenance Lead White pigments in 17th century Dutch paintings

The pigment lead white is a complex salt containing both carbonate and hydroxide ions that has been widely used in paintings since antiquity. In the last three decades, lead isotope analysis of lead white was used to determine the source of the lead ore and, by inference, the provenance of the painting. 
The overall goal of this project is to quantify the limitations of Pb isotope provenance studies of oil paintings. The latest generation mass spectrometric techniques will be used; doubled spiked lead analysis linked to new generation 10^13 Ohm amplifiers. The approach allows the analysis of sub nanogram amounts of lead white and hence minimally destructive sampling techniques allowing analysis of parts of individual paint layers that are typically between 10-100 µm

Paolo D’Imporzano graduated from Università di Pisa with a bachelor degree in Molecular Chemistry and a Master degree in Analytical Chemistry. He started a PhD at the VU in collaboration with the Rijksmuseum in the NICAS MITEEMA project. In his research, he works with isotope analysis techniques on Pb, Sr and Nd in order to identify the provenance of pigments in paintings.


More information about the NICAS Colloquium can be found here.

Published by  NICAS