Lining Danish Golden age paintings. The mechanical effect on moisture sensibility

    Project Details


    The objective of the project is to analyze the mechanical consequences of lining in Danish Golden Age paintings. The basis for the study is the collection of early 19th century oil paintings on canvas from the National Gallery of Denmark.

    Lining is a conservation method, by which a painting is reinforced with an extra canvas glued to the back of the original canvas. This method is probably as old as the canvas painting itself. Over the years a number of arguments have been given for the use of different lining methods and materials. The current methods are based on evidence from mechanical tests and the study of various strata in the aged paintings. The point of departure is a theory to the effect that the lining should physically be the most non-elastic element in the ‘sandwich’ of the painting (lining, original canvas, paint layer) in order to prevent cracking of the paint.

    The current techniques for lining are examined with a view to the material characteristics of the Danish Golden Age paintings. An international perspective arises from fact that Danish 19th century paintings technique to some extent corresponds to the contemporary foreign schools. Knowledge of this is a decisive factor in the choice of method and materials for the lining.

    The study will examine which layers are mechanically less elastic and thereby carrying the painting, when the lined painting is subjected to fluctuations in humidity.

    The objection is to avoid cracking, cupping and loss in the paint film. Aged oil paint cracks at even low strain, a fact which increases the demands on the mechanical properties of lining materials.

    The project is divided into three phases, the first being a technical study of paintings from the Danish Golden Age. Structural treatments of the paintings in the past will be included.

    The second phase is an investigation of linings and their effect on the mechanical properties of a painting. This will be analyzed by tensile testing.

    The last phase is the processing of the compiled data to obtain an insight into the effect of linings on paintings of the Danish Golden Age. In addition, a conclusion should be drawn on how to optimize the treatments.

    The project has thus an interdisciplinary approach to secure adequate results. Technical studies are combined with mechanical testing and analysis of different lining techniques and their effect on paintings
    Effective start/end date01/02/201001/03/2013


    • Forskningsrådet for Kultur og Kommunikation: DKK2,101,000.00


    • conservation
    • technology
    • lining
    • Danish golden age
    • painting
    • canvas