Netherlands Institute for Conservation, Art and Science

NICAS Colloquium

23Jan2020 12:00 - 13:00


The next edition of the NICAS Colloquium takes place on Thursday, 23 January 2020, from 12:00 to 13:00 in Conference Room B of the Atelier Building (Hobbemastraat 22, Amsterdam).


The chair of this colloquium will be Guus Verhaar (Rijksmuseum).


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


TooCOLD (Toolbox for studying the Chemistry Of Light-induced Degradation): From degradation to preservation

Maarten van Bommel

Within the TooCOLD project we are developing a tool to study the discoloration due to irradiation of organic colorants in solution. An exposure cell has been built in which we expose the sample to an intense light source to accelerate ageing. This cell will be coupled online with liquid chromatography and mass spectrometry.

Although we focus on discoloration of cultural heritage, the tool can be also applied in other field such as food safety and water purification. This presentation will focus on the development of the exposure cell, and the first results of the degradation of crystal violet, which act as a model compound, will be presented.

Maarten van Bommel has a background in analytical chemistry and is currently professor of conservation science at the university of Amsterdam, both at the faculty of Humanities and the faculty of Science.


The Handmade Blue Paper Project: An Interdisciplinary Low-Tech Approach to Studying Material Culture

Leila Sauvage

Despite progress made in studying drawing media, paper supports are often loosely characterised by colour. These descriptions are subjective and of limited use since the information such papers encode cannot be used comparatively to establish meaningful relationships between drawing supports. In 2016, three conservators, a papermaker and a dyer began to investigate handmade blue paper. This paper will outline the research methodology developed to encourage fuller characterisations of these papers. Lacking substantial technical literature and analytical findings, this research began from visual assessments of historical materials. Conservators gathered a corpus of blue papers, classifying them according to physical characteristics and function. Reconstructions were undertaken at the Moulin du Verger (France). The dyer prepared woad- and indigo-based blue rag fibres, and the papermaker formed sheets of the desired properties. The practise has enhanced understanding of interrelationships between papermaker, dyer and the rag trade before the industrial era. Comparison of blue supports with textual evidence will facilitate better comprehension of the historical significance of blue paper and enrich drawings scholarship.

Leila Sauvage specializes in the conservation of friable media drawings. In 2014, she started a PhD that aims to predict cumulative damage on pastel paintings due to the vibrations induced by handling and transport. She is currently paper conservator and data/image scientist at the Rijksmuseum.



Thursday, 23 January 2020


12:00 – 13:00 hrs


Conference Room B, Atelier Building
Hobbemastraat 22, Amsterdam

Published by  NICAS