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Proceedings Paper

High-resolution infrared imaging
Author(s): Charles M. Falco
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Paper Abstract

The hands and mind of an artist are intimately involved in the creative process of image formation, intrinsically making paintings significantly more complex than photographs to analyze. In spite of this difficulty, several years ago the artist David Hockney and I identified optical evidence within a number of paintings that demonstrated artists began using optical projections as early as c1425 - nearly 175 years before Galileo - as aids for producing portions of their images. In the course of our work, Hockney and I developed insights that I have been applying to a new approach to computerized image analysis. Recently I developed and characterized a portable high resolution infrared for capturing additional information from paintings. Because many pigments are semi-transparent in the IR, in a number of cases IR photographs ("reflectograms") have revealed marks made by the artists that had been hidden under paint ever since they were made. I have used this IR camera to capture photographs ("reflectograms") of hundreds of paintings in over a dozen museums on three continents and, in some cases, these reflectograms have provided new insights into decisions the artists made in creating the final images that we see in the visible.

Paper Details

Date Published: 2 August 2010
PDF: 12 pages
Proc. SPIE 7782, The Nature of Light: Light in Nature III, 778206 (2 August 2010); doi: 10.1117/12.863575
Show Author Affiliations
Charles M. Falco, College of Optical Sciences, The Univ. of Arizona (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 7782:
The Nature of Light: Light in Nature III
Katherine Creath; Joseph A. Shaw, Editor(s)

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