Material Testing

Sophisticated scientific instruments, reference libraries, multi-analytical approach, developed material chronologies are just some of the key assets of ArtDiscovery.

Our own material testing laboratory includes instruments that allow us to determine aspects such as elemental and molecular composition, undertake particle characterization and identify the organic phases present in a work of art. To complement these instruments, ArtDiscovery develops and maintains extensive reference libraries of samples and spectra that allow us to be highly confident and precise in our identifications. Additionally, among the operating principles that we have developed, an especially important method is a ‘multi-analytical’ approach. This uses two, three or more techniques to characterize a sample, an approach that permits historically important materials to be efficiently and reliably identified.

Simply knowing the identity of a material is rarely sufficient to understand its significance and apply that to the wider context. To place results meaningfully into their proper historical framework, ArtDiscovery underpins our material analysis with an extensive knowledge of past materials and artists’ practices. Ranging from specially developed material chronologies through technical literature published in multiple languages, we provide the required context that changes scientific data into valuable information – often leading to a new discovery.