Picasso 1917: An Insight into the Effects of Ground and Canvas in the Failure Mechanisms in Four Artworks

Anna Vila, Alison Murray, Cecil Krarup Andersen, Francesca Izzo, Laura Fuster-López, Elena Aguado, Rayez Jimenez, Annemette Bruselius Scharff

Publikation: Bidrag til bog/antologi/rapportBidrag til bog/antologiForskningpeer review


This work presents the in-progress research project being carried out at the Museu Picasso in Barcelona, Spain. The project is concerned with the differences in composition and physical-mechanical properties of painting support materials (including the ground layers and canvas) that might determine the durability of some of Picasso’s artworks. For this purpose, four paintings executed by Picasso in Barcelona in 1917 were selected. Despite showing apparent similarities in fabrics, paints, palette and execution techniques and having been stored under similar conditions, the four paintings present significant differences in degradation patterns. The large diversity in the type of the degradation patterns indicates a potential variation in composition that has not been determined in previous analyses. In order to establish plausible hypotheses for the observed differences in failure mechanisms, the first approach was the visual analysis of the paintings, including their appearance and surface morphology, as well as of their crack patterns. Then, a multi-analytical approach was designed including light microscopy with ultra-violet and visible wavelengths (UV-Vis-OM), scanning electron microscopy with energy dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (SEM-EDX), micro-Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (μ-FTIR) and gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS), as well as pH and conductivity measurements.
TitelConservation of Modern Oil Paintings
RedaktørerKlaas Jan van den Berg, Ilaria Bonaduce, Aviva Burnstock, Bronwyn Ornsby, Mikkel Scharff, Leslie Carlyle, Katrien Keun
ISBN (Elektronisk)978-3-030-19253-2
StatusUdgivet - 2020
BegivenhedConference on Modern Oil Paints - Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam, Holland
Varighed: 23 maj 201825 maj 2018


KonferenceConference on Modern Oil Paints


  • Picasso
  • canvas paintings
  • XRF
  • OM
  • μ-FTIR
  • failure mechanisms
  • Mechanical properties

Kunstnerisk udviklingsvirksomhed (KUV)

  • Nej