It was a privileged to meet Christine Sitwell, the National Trust paintings expert at her talk, Analytical aspects of conservation in painting, organised by The Quekett Club in the Natural History Museum yesterday. It was fascinating to hear her speak about the process of attribution in relation to the Rembrandt self-portrait at the National Trust’s Buckland Abbey in Devon.
Christine talked about how technology is used to identify different periods through examination of different layers (ground), pigment and varnish. Minute specs of paint – usually taken from a tear or from the side – are examined under the microscope. She talked about the value of real pigments (various periods) and the use of spectronomy to pinpoint elements such as pigments, cobalt, potassium, nickel, smelt.
I very much hope that they can also authenticate the Titan as the one missing from the series.