By the end of this course it is expected that students will be able to deliver presentations (both oral and written) in which he or she explains how to practice technical art history, and how to communicate the results of such examinations to a variety of audiences. The student will thus participate in the discource on historical painting techniques, modern methods of conservation and restoration, and art historical and scientific methods of research.
Early Netherlandish paintings, as material objects, are complex layered structures that were produced with a broad range of materials in distinct stages. Methods of technical examination, such as X-radiography and infrared reflectography, provide complementary information about these objects and their production. This intensive, six-week course surveys how Netherlandish paintings were produced, and why this information can be of critical importance for art historians. Topics will include: the division of labour within a workshop, how to ‘read' X-radiographs and infrared reflectograms, and how to interpret the results of dendrochronological analyses. The goal of the course is to provide BA and MA students the necessary toolset to critically read publications in the fast emerging field of Technical Art History, with a special focus on the techniques applied by Hieronymus Bosch and his workshop. Although the painting examples used in this course will be limited to Netherlandish painting, many of these skills and concepts are applicable to other fields within the history of art.