14 October 2014

Studying and Caring for Old Master Paintings: A behind the scenes look at some of the work at the National Gallery

Organised by:

SCI's London Group in partnership with UCL's Chemical Physical Society

University College London, London, UK

Registration Closed

This event is no longer available for registration.


This talk will introduce the work of the National Gallery Scientific Department; from examining the materials found in paintings to considering the safety and quality of the lights we use to illuminate them.

The scientific examination of Old Master paintings and the consideration of the environment in which they are displayed has been the official role of scientists at the National Gallery ever since the appointment of the first scientific advisor in the 1930s. Over 80 years later the scientific department continues to investigate the material nature of these paintings, how and why they have changed over time and how we can archive, re-sue and present all that we learn.

The talk will show how 'behind-the-scenes' scientific work is used to provide the most accurate information as possible about the paintings and how this is used to inform decisions about their care and display, ensuring that generations to come will enjoy these magnificent paintings.

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Venue and Contact


Department of Chemistry
University College London
20 Gordon Street
London, WC1H 0AJ 


SCI Communications

Tel: 0207 598 1594

Email: Communications@soci.org


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CPD Info

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Additional Info


Joseph Padfield, National Gallery