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Using Through-Transmission Mid-Wave Infrared Vision and Air-Coupled Ultrasound for Artwork Inspection: A Case Study on Mock-ups of Portrait of the Painter’s Mother

: Zhang, Hai; Sfarra, Stefano; Osman, Ahmad; Ibarra-Castanedo, Clemente; Maldague, Xavier P.V.


Insight 62 (2020), Nr.3, S.123-128
ISSN: 1354-2575
ISSN: 0007-1137
Fraunhofer IZFP ()
NDT; infrared; air-coupled ultrasound; artwork; Cultural Heritage

The conservation of artworks is playing an increasingly important role in society today. Non-destructive investigation can provide the potential to identify deterioration as early as possible. In this research, transmission mid-wave infrared (MWIR) vision and air-coupled ultrasound (ACU) were used to investigate two paintings on canvas made from different textile support materials. An X-ray technique was used in the work for validation. It was found that the transmission mode can probe deeper and the differences in absorption due to the different textile support materials can be distinguished. This paper summarises advantages of the transmission inspection mode and compares and analyses images from the two techniques from a physical point of view.