Canvas-related microcracks in Danish 19th-century paintings

Troels Folke Filtenborg, Cecil Krarup Andersen, Mikkel Scharff

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperResearchpeer-review

Abstract

This paper discusses the emergence of microcracks observed in the ground layers of paintings on canvas supports. Such cracks are visible in 50 µm resolution x-radiographs and correlate with the occurrence of microcracks as well as more large-scale crack patterns in the surface of the paintings. They also explain the initiation of one type of crack formation and the subsequent propagation of the crack into the paint layers. An examination of 41 paintings by the Danish artist C. W. Eckersberg, dating from throughout his oeuvre, showed a variable prevalence of microcracks in 24 paintings. Some cracks were visible only in the x-radiographs while others could be observed also on the paint surface. In many cases, the microcracks were seen to have become incorporated into the larger crack pattern of the paint. The mechanical process underlying the genesis of micro-cracks is discussed, and a potential association with the stratigraphy of the grounds used in Eckersberg’s paintings is proposed.
Translated title of the contributionLærredsrelaterede mikrorevner i danske 1800-tals malerier
Original languageEnglish
Publication date1 Sep 2020
Number of pages7
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 1 Sep 2020
EventICOM-CC 19th Triennial Conference

: Transcending Boundaries: Integrated Approaches to Conservation
- Beijing, Beijing, China
Duration: 1 Apr 202131 May 2021

Conference

ConferenceICOM-CC 19th Triennial Conference

LocationBeijing
CountryChina
CityBeijing
Period01/04/202131/05/2021

Keywords

  • microcracks, x-ray imaging, crack initiation, C.W. Eckersberg, painting on canvas

Cite this