Netherlands Institute for Conservation, Art and Science

NICAS Colloquium

11July2019 12:00 - 13:00


The next edition of the NICAS Colloquium takes place on Thursday, 11 July 2019, from 12:00 to 13:00 in Conference Room B of the Atelier Building (Hobbemastraat 22, Amsterdam).


The chair of this colloquium will be Katrien Keune (Rijksmuseum/University of Amsterdam).


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


Optical coherence tomography for visualization of semi-transparent layers in oil paintings

Mitra Almasian

Optical coherence tomography (OCT) uses near-infrared light to create non-invasive high-resolution 3D morphological images of (semi-) transparent samples. OCT is mostly applied in biomedical research and medical practice, where it is used to visualize e.g. the human skin, retina and oesophagus. Additionally, advanced analysis of the images yields complementary information on microscopic structures and organization not readily visible in the OCT images. A vast amount of studies is dedicated to utilizing these advanced analyses in biomedical research to non-invasively discriminate between healthy and diseased tissues. In recent years OCT has been introduced to cultural heritage studies. In oil paintings, OCT has been shown to create virtual cross-sections. Within the Night Watch Project, we aim to apply OCT in conjunction with advanced image analyses to reveal the internal structure of varnish layers and the surface of paint layer.

Mitra Almasian is a postdoctoral researcher at both UMC Amsterdam and Rijksmuseum and has a background in chemistry/photochemistry (BSc, MSc) and OCT signal analysis/clinical application (PhD).


Beneath the texture: A comparison of non-invasive imaging techniques for the study of Abraham Mignon's Still Life with Flowers and a Watch, c. 1660-1679

Nouchka De Keyser

Seventeenth century still life painters were masters in imitating fabrics and materials. In search for optical illusion, the paint system and range of applied materials became increasingly complex. This presentation will report the results from an in-depth technical study of Abraham Mignon´s Still life with Flowers and a Watch, c. 1660-1679, from the collection of the Rijksmuseum. The painting was examined with Macro X-ray fluorescence (MA-XRF) scanning, Macro X-ray Powder diffraction (MA-XRPD) scanning and visible near (VNIR) reflectance imaging (400-1000 nm) to map the artist’s refined working method. This combined approach provided a more complete identification of the materials employed while XRPD data in addition provided highly specific information on alteration products that formed in situ and the distribution of crystalline (pigment) phases.

Nouchka De Keyser is a scientific researcher at the Rijksmuseum and a PhD candidate at the University of Antwerp, studying the painting technology of seventeenth century Dutch and Flemish still life painters.




Thursday, 11 July 2019


12:00 – 13:00 hrs


Conference Room B, Atelier Building
Hobbemastraat 22, Amsterdam

Published by  NICAS