Articles by Francis Eastaugh

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A drawing on vellum, believed to be of Jane Austen has been brought to light with the help of Art Access & Research. The story of this exciting find can be read on the websites of the BBC, The Guardian amongst many others. Dr Paula Byrne, who owns the painting, has pursued an accurate attribution for the piece with the assistance of an array of experts, including Dr Eastaugh and team. This case again hightlights the importance of the use of technical analysis in attribution studies.

A documentary charting the attribution proccess will be shown on BBC 2 on Boxing Day.

On 16 June, 2011, Dr. Jilleen Nadolny has been invited to speak at the international symposium “Transmission of artists’ knowledge”, on the subject of European painters’ guild ordinances. The symposium is organised by the Flemish Academic Centre : Institute for Advanced Study, and is supported by the Royal Flemish Academy for Science and Arts, Belgium, and will be held at the Palace of the Acadmies, Brussels. The symposium has been planned to further discussion of the current state of the scholarship on primary sources pertaining to the transmission of art knowledge. Both Dr. Nadolny and Dr. Eastaugh will attend.

There has been increasing coverage in the international press of a forgery scandal originating in Germany but affecting the wider art market.
Dr. Nicholas Eastaugh and Art Access and Research are pleased to have played a significant role in identifying apparently fake paintings linked to this.

Dr. Nicholas Eastaugh commented that “While we are glad to see such an important issue being highlighted in the media, this is a perfect example of why we need not only connoisseurship and provenance in the art market but also systematic use of scientific analysis. Greater integration of science into the sale process could have picked this up much sooner”. He added “Analysis of paintings should also be seen as a solution to resultant uncertainty in cases like this, providing reassurance that forgery is not an endemic problem in such sectors of the art market.”

Latest coverage can be found in the Observer.

Earlier articles in the German Press may be found here, here and here.

On the 23rd and 24th of September the Art Technological Source Research (ATSR) working group of the International Council of Museums – Committee for Conservation (ICOM-CC) will be holding it’s 4th International Symposium. Entitled “Technology and Interpretation: Reflecting the artist’s Process”, the meeting is being held in Vienna.

Dr. Eastaugh will be presenting the keynote address to the symposium. His talk, “From source to chronology: studies on macro-scale behaviour in art technology” looks at the processes of change in the materials and methods used by artists in a larger technological context.

Dr. Nadolny is chairing a session of the conference as well as leading a panel discussion called “Art Technological Source Researchers non nascuntur sed finguntur – WHO are we and WHAT are we doing?”
Together with the Schweizerisches Institut für Kunstwissenschaft (the Swiss Institute for Art Sciences, SIK-ISEA), ATSR has organised a post-session for researchers studying the use of alternative binding media for easel painting (‘tempera’ paints, ie. non-oil bound paint systems) by artists in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Dr. Nadolny will moderate the session.

The topics presented at the ATSR meeting reflect the varied research undertaken at AA&R and we welcome this opportunity for academic exchange.

The sale of a work by Rembrandt reached a record price for the artist in Christie’s December sales. The work, Portrait of a Man, Half-length, With His Arms Akimbo (1658) sold for £20.2m. The painting, from a private collection, has not been seen in public since 1970. Our involvement with the project came when Dr. Eastaugh was asked by Christies to prepare a scientific study of the painting prior to auction. The value of the study can be seen in the fact that the report was included in its entirety in the auction catalogue.

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Portrait of a Man, Half-length, With His Arms Akimbo

This sale has garnered a great deal of press attention and a selection of articles on it are linked below:
- The New York Times
- BBC News
- Daily Telegraph
- The Times

We are pleased to announce our newest colleague, technical art historian Dr. Jilleen Nadolny. Dr. Nadolny comes to us from the University of Oslo’s Department of Conservation where she was Associate Professor, specialising in technical art history, scientific analysis of cultural historical materials, conservation history and ethics. She will be working in these areas for AA&R’s clients. A more complete biography can be found here.

We have added a page to our Techniques and Equipment section with pictures of our lab equipment.

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A picture of our positioning scanner.

Dr. Eastaugh was featured in an article on forgeries in the modern Russian art market.

One of the problems is that Russian works do not have the same documentation – proving their history from their first sale onwards – as many Western paintings from the same era, said Dr Nicholas Eastaugh, whose Art Access and Research company uses the latest scientific techniques to examine the materials used in paintings.

“I’ve been doing a lot of work on Russian art over the last two years, and there are a lot of fakes around,” said Dr Eastaugh. “People are trying to buy their national heritage. The key works are from 1910 to the 1920s. There was a lot of chaos. Many works were destroyed afterwards or sent to remote provinces, which means documentation is poor. So looking into the history is problematic.”

If you would like to see more about AA&R services for authenticity, then look here.

AA&R is pleased to announce Dr. Eastaugh is giving a keynote adress at the ICON Painting Group Conference 2009, SEEING FURTHER; An Overview of Advances in Digital imaging and Investigations:

As a fundamental element of technical examination, scientific imaging has helped conservators to better understand objects for many years. This conference will explore a number of traditional and cutting-edge, digital imaging techniques that are currently being used and developed in the field of imaging science and their applications in paintings’ conservation.

AA&R are supporting the conference which is being held at the Wallace Collection in London on Friday 24th April.