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CODE 84648
SEMESTER 2° Semester


The course takes into consideration painting techniques in relation to historical sources and their practical application.

The executive techniques will be examined in relation to the support, the different methods of preparation and the pigment-binding component.

The course includes a theoretical and practical-application overview on diagnostics through imaging.



The teaching aims to provide information on the pictorial materials used from the Middle Ages to the 18th century, on their history, characteristics and conservation related peculiarities , as well as on the executive procedures used on both mobile and wall supports. The aim is to make students aware of the need for knowledge of materials and technical procedures in order to obtain more in-depth historical knowledge and to ensure the correct conservation of paintings . Theoretical lectures are given through the use of communication and sharing digital platforms , ensuring the interaction between teacher and students, sharing slide screens and visual or textual materials. The practical and application of multi-spectral acquisition techniques will be performed by building up a web-based reference set and screen sharing during the use phase colorcorretcion and development of computational techniques (3d photogrammetry, RTI, spherical images). Students will use their personal instrumentation (if present) in parallel to the reference set, being able to become familiar with the imaging techniques conducted with professional procedures.


Attendance of lectures is expected; both in observation and practical analysis of case studies and participation in diagnostic acquisition activities in the field (laboratory, outdoor and museum sets).
The first component will provide the theoretical and technical tools for the recognition and discrimination of executive techniques, in relation to historical and stylistic processes and the physical and chemical compatibility of materials for pictorial use in relation to support and executive practice.
The second part will provide the intepretative reading capacity of image data both of repertoire and acquired and self-produced by the students themselves, through the specific equipment provided by the teacher.
The students will have to acquire executive practical skills in the treatment of the images, finalized to the study of the pictorial works is from the historical-technical point of view, diagnostic and stylistic. They will address first-level imaging techniques (photography, graze light and transillumination, infrared and UV reflectography, ultraviolet fluorescence, false colors) and advanced (computational techniques, RTI and photomodeling).

Among the educational objectives include reading, interpreting, summarizing, discussing and producing advanced texts and research articles concerning cultural heritage both in Italian and in English; the student will have to identify the significance of cultural heritage, classifying and placing them in the historical-artistic context of reference. Students will be able to apply methods, materials, measures and techniques for characterization and have practical knowledge of methodologies related to the recovery, conservation, restoration and enhancement of cultural heritage in correlation with the themes of teaching; evaluate conservation issues of cultural heritage in their context and take scientific responsibility for the diagnosis, before and during the conservation intervention, in addition to the necessary verifications and testing tests.
The student must develop independent judgement, identifying and critically analyzing methods, materials, measures and techniques for the recovery, conservation, restoration and enhancement of cultural heritage, finding and evaluating sources of information and bibliography: this will be preparatory and formative with a view to the production of technical and written reports with a scientific or informative approach (possibly also using another EU language).



To deal effectively with the contents of the teaching are recommended the following basic knowledge : 1) basic knowledge of medieval and modern art history 2)basic knowledge of principles of chemistry and general physics and optical physics.


The course  is divided into lectures and practical relief activities and data processing.
The attendance to the theoretical lessons is necessary for the correct understanding of the applied dynamics put in place during the phase of survey
Front lessons in the classroom are delivered through multimedia presentations and projection of repertoire material for image data analysis.
Students will be able to practice the interpretation of diagnostic data in support of the theoretical technical knowledge acquired during the frontal lessons.
The practical acquisition exercises aim to make the student autonomous in the execution of a correct documentation finalized to the study of the techniques both through procedures of first impact, also applicable with personal instrumentation, both with advanced techniques (using the instrumentation provided by the teacher).
The student will apply theoretical knowledge, verifying the results in relation to the repertory cases and producing image data of correct diagnostic documentation through the use of instrumentation and software of wide availability.
Practical exercises can be carried out both in classrooms and in museum institutions and public access collections. Please refer to the specific Aulaweb application for teaching for any updates due to changes in the health and epidemiological situation.


The teaching program includes the presentation and discussion of the following topics:

Introduction to the history of painting techniques and theory of the discipline;

Introduction to painting materials;

Technical history of the Supports (wall, canvas, table and specific cases) and related historical sources;

Technical history of pigments and ligands, lacquers and dyes and related historical sources;

Technical history of paints and finishes and related historical sources;

Systems of diagnostics for image and relief for the study of the executive technique, of the conservative condition and in support of the historical-stylistic analysts;

Basic theories and techniques of image relief;

Realization of the acquisition set.

Color correction, post-poduction of the image data for single band and for false colors in digital mixing; development of computational techniques (Reflectance transformation imaging, 3d photogrammetry, focus stacking)

Diagnostic reading of practical cases.


The texts indicated below are to be considered consultation texts, the main importance is the notes of what was presented and discussed in class:

N.Bevilacqua, L.Borgioli, I.Adrover Gracia (2010), The pigments in art, from prehistory to the industrial revolution, Il Prato Editore (Saonara, PD);
M.Matteini, A.Moles, R.Mazzeo (2015), Chemistry for Restoration. Painting and Restoration Materials, Nardini (Florence).
All slides used during lessons and other teaching materials will be available on AulaWeb at the end of each cycle of lessons/laboratory exercises along with other bibliographic material in pdf format.
The texts below are to be considered texts of consultation, the main importance has the notes of what presented and discussed at the lesson: C.Cennini, Il libro dell'arte, ed. a cura di F.Frezzato, Vicenza, Neri Pozza, 2004
Le tecniche artistiche, a cura di C.Maltese, Milano, Mursia, 1973 o edizioni successive (capitoli pertinenti a: scultura, ceramica, stucco, vetri, smalti, disegno, incisione, pittura, mosaico, tarsie e vetrate)
M.C.Galassi, Il disegno svelato. Progetto e immagine nella pittura italiana del primo Rinascimento, Ilisso, Nuoro, 1998                                                                             

S. RINALDI, Storia tecnica dell’arte. Materiali e metodi della pittura e della scultura (secc. V-XIX), Roma 2011, pp. 13-46; 92-103; 109-161; 169-201; 239-256;                   

Le tecniche artistiche, a cura di C. MALTESE, ed. cons. U. Mursia, 2014.                                                                                                                                                                                 N.Bevilacqua, L.Borgioli, I.Adrover Gracia (2010), I pigmenti nell'arte, dalla preistoria alla rivoluzione industriale, Il Prato Editore (Saonara, PD)                                     

 AA.VV., La fabbrica dei colori. Pigmenti e coloranti nella pittura e nella tintoria è un libro pubblicato da Bagatto Libri   ISBN: 9788877550507. 
P.Triolo, Manuale pratico di documentazione e diagnostica per immagine per i BB.CC., Il Prato editore, Saonara (PD), 2019



Exam Board


MARIA CLELIA GALASSI (President Substitute)




The examination take the form of an oral test.

The oral test consists in the discussion of a historical and theoretical subject at the choice of the student; a topic of executive technique will be discussed later; finally, a diagnostic image will be shown for the purpose of describing practical procedures carried out during the course and of correctly interpreting analysis data.

The oral test can be supported during appeals published on the UNIGE website. There will be 3 appeals in the winter session (January-February) and 3 appeals in the summer session (June, July, September).
Please refer to the specific Aulaweb application for teaching for any updates due to changes in the health and epidemiological situation.


Details on how to prepare for the exam will be provided at the beginning of the course and during lessons.

The student must be able to integrate the knowledge acquired during the lessons with the skills acquired during the activities of diagnostic survey, in relation to and cases of repertoire.

The oral examination will focus on the theoretical subjects dealt with in relation to the correct interpretation of the data  both of repertoire and self-produced images. The correct terminology and the organic quality of the speech will be assessed.


Regular attendance at lectures and lab activities  is strongly recommended.