Netherlands Institute for Conservation, Art and Science

NICAS Colloquium

31May2018 12:00 - 13:00


The next edition of the NICAS Colloquium takes place on Thursday, 31 May 2018, from 12:00 to 13:00 in conference room B of the Atelier Building (Hobbemastraat 22, Amsterdam).


The chair of this colloquium will be Gjorgji Strezoski (UvA), PhD-candidate in the NICAS project A visual analytics approach for the stylistic history of painting.


The following presentations are scheduled for this edition of the NICAS Colloquium:

Jonas Veenhoven

Analysis optimization using THM-Py-GC/MS on artificially light aged Asian lacquers

In the context of a broader study on the cleaning of Asian lacquer surfaces the chemical impact of artificial light aging on mock-ups is studied. Asian lacquer is generally highly resilient being resistant to water, acids and alkalis. However, by the impact of light-induced oxidation, carboxylated aging products are formed, altering the properties of the surface into exceedingly polar and water sensitive, making cleaning delicate. The molecular modifications taking place, which can influence the choice of the cleaning solvent will be presented. As molecules are released from the lacquer matrix in low concentration, overall detection limits need to be downscaled to allow their identification. THM-Py-GC/MS with TMAH derivatization is used for the identification of the carboxylated markers. The optimization of the   pyrolysis temperature(s), to obtain a stronger signal of the molecules of interest, is presented.

Jonas Veenhoven obtained his bachelor’s in conservation studies and master’s in conservation science at University of Antwerp. He is working at KIK-IRPA, Ghent University and University of Amsterdam as a joint PhD-candidate in the field of organic and macromolecular chemistry of Asian lacquer.

Francesca Di Cicco and Lisa Wiersma

‘It’s all colour’ - The treatise of Willem Beurs (1692) and convincing Spanish grapes in paintings by Jan de Heem (1606-1683/1684)

In many 17th- and early 18th-century still-life paintings, the arranged objects look as if the beholder could easily grab a piece to take a bite. The mystery of this mastery can be solved with art history, art technology, visual analysis and visual perception research. A useful tool to understand the realistic rendering is the treatise from 1692 on oil painting by Willem Beurs, De groote waereld in ’t kleen geschildert (The big world painted small). This collection of standardised recipes was forgotten soon after it was printed and only recently scholars and scientists have started using it for their studies in art. Currently, we are researching the depiction of lemons and grapes. For the latter, a complex recipe is given in the treatise that reveals tricks that are later used to paint many other types of fruit, such as lemons. From perception experiments Jan De Heem (1606-1683/84) emerged as one of the best painters of grapes. Reconstructions of his Spanish grapes were made using macro-XRF scans, cross-sections and OCT analysis.

Francesca Di Cicco obtained her master’s degree in Nanomaterials, chemistry and Utrecht University. Lisa Wiersma finished her Research master’s in art history at the University of Amsterdam in 2012. Currently, they are both PhD-candidates in the NICAS-project ‘Recipes and Realities’.

NICAS Colloquium

More information about the NICAS Colloquium can be found here.



Thursday, 31 May 2018


12:00 – 13:00 hrs


Conference Room B, Atelier Building
Hobbemastraat 22, Amsterdam

Published by  NICAS