IPERION HSIntegrating Platforms for the European Research Infrastructure ON Heritage Science

On November 1st, the exhibition on “Copies and forgeries in portrait miniature” opens the door. Hosted at the Czech Academy of Sciences in Prague, it will show a Czech collection of portrait miniatures analysed with non-invasive techniques to obtain accurate information about the materials used. The exhibition will take visitors on a fascinating journey into the painted portrait miniatures’ world and through the scientific analyses that have revealed their secrets.
The painted portrait miniatures are a distinctive pictorial movement that was born in England in the 16th century and reached the height of its popularity in Europe in the 18th and 19th centuries. However, a number of period-specific techniques were developed before it was eclipsed by the dynamic development of photography. Yet it is not easy to answer the question of whether a drawing, a photographic transfer, or a print raster lies beneath a brilliantly rendered painting. Today’s scientific instruments, however, can not only see beneath the surface, but can also obtain surprisingly accurate information about the materials used, non-invasively, without any sampling. The exhibition thus opens up a fascinating story of the artistic development of miniatures, from masterful originals through the period and later copies, leading ultimately to cheap imitations and forgeries. This is the first time that miniatures from Czech collections have been examined in this way.
Our IPERION HS partner, Piotr Targowski, participated in the scientific analyses with his OCT.