The project will develop equipment for the direct fast capture of paintings, with a new ultra-high definition multi-spectral scanner (ultraviolet to infrared) with a homogeneous lighting system. Software will be developed that uses a new colour chart and illumination correction to calibrated multi-spectral images. Research will be conducted into spectrometric analysis of varnish layers to allow the effect of an aged varnish to be substracted from an image of a painting. Large format, colour-accurate prints will assist in the restoration of paintings and be of use in exhibitions as surrogates for fragile works of art. Studies will be made of the long-term durability of storage media and of archiving techniques. A bi-lingual electronic handbook will be published on the web. Paintings will be captured, archived for long-term preservation, electronically restored, printed for exhibition and used for demonstration purposes.
The objectives are to develop a technology and information environment to preserve paintings by ultra-high quality multispectral digitisation, to preserve as well the created digital resources in long terms, and to enable the use of the images as surrogates and to assist conservation of the originals.
This includes: digitisation technology, colour calibration, software to determine the original paint colour beneath aged varnish from multispectral imagery, colour-accurate printing and long-term durability of storage media. An inventory system for these resources will be developed for timely replacement of over-aged data carriers, monitoring and planning of distribution, recovery strategies from losses and as index for conservators. An integrated, interactive, dynamic electronic handbook will convey the complex knowledge to use these imaging techniques for conservation planning and ensure the utility of the marketable results of the projects results.
After capturing the user requirements, the work will continue in a concertated set of studies, equipment and software development, which will result in a complete set of functionality to provide professionals in the field of fine art with an integrated system for painting preservation and painting surface analysis, with the necessary performance for large scale work. Integration is done by software for the long-term management of electronic resources and by rendering the knowledge for the use of CRISATEL software and equipment and the interpretation of its results in an electronic handbook. In detail, a scanner based on a CCD array and 12-filter multispectral analysis in the range from the ultraviolet to the very near infrared will be developed. A suitable, homogeneous high flux lighting system will be used to reduce the image capture time. Software will perform illumination and colour correction. Spectrophotometric techniques will be used to study varnish thickness and opacity. The results will be used to develop a process that can electronically remove a varnish layer from a multispectral digital image to reveal the original colours of the paint layer. Software will be written to produce high-quality digital images printed on large textile and paper supports as substitute for study and exhibition of fragile objects. Durable archiving policy, methodology and media recording techniques, media structure, writing quality control, recorded data integrity control over the long term will be studied, and end in the development of an inventory software for the management of these electronic and their carriers and their timely renewal and as index to the images. To make the complexity of the related knowledge easily accessible by the expert, an innovative web-site manager on top of a knowledge base system will be developed, in order to create a bi-lingual electronic handbook to train curators, restorers and scientists to interpret the content of technical digital images.
M1- Analysis and development: HD multi-spectral scanner and its lighting, spectroscopic ellipsometry scanner, colour-charts for calibration.
M2- Software implementation: scanner calibration, colour correction and prediction, accurate printing, and digital resources management.
M3- Application and validation: long-term archiving system, multi-lingual electronic handbook, large-size image printing, control of software prediction by digitisation before and after painting restoration.
Funding SchemeCSC - Cost-sharing contracts
17671 Iraklio, Crete
75634 Paris 13
91940 Les Ulis
WC2N 5DN London