A. Ness Proaño Gaibor
- Reconstructing Van Gogh’s palette to determine the optical characteristics of his paints
- HERITAGE SCIENCE
- Article number
- Number of pages
- Document type
- Faculty of Humanities (FGw)
- Amsterdam School for Heritage and Memory Studies (AHM)
The colors of Field with Irises near Arles, painted by Van Gogh in Arles in 1888, have changed considerably. To get an idea of how this painting, as well as other works by Van Gogh, looked shortly after their production, the Revigo (Re-assessing Vincent van Gogh’s colors) research project was initiated. The aim of this project was to digitally visualize the original colors of paintings and drawings by Vincent van Gogh, using scientific methods backed by expert judgement where required. We adopted an experimental art technological approach and physically reconstructed Van Gogh’s full palette of oil paints, closely matching those he used to paint Field with Irises near Arles. Sixteen different paints were reconstructed, among which the most light-sensitive pigments and linseed oil, which is prone to yellowing, were produced according to 19th century practice. The resulting pigments and oils were chemically analyzed and compared to those used by Van Gogh. The ones that resembled his paints the most were used in the paint reconstructions. Other pigments were either obtained from the Cultural Heritage Agency’s collection of historical pigments, or purchased from Kremer Pigmente. The reconstructed paints were subsequently used to calculate the absorption K and scattering S parameters of the individual paints. Using Kubelka–Munk theory, these optical parameters could in turn be used to determine the color of paint mixtures. We applied this method successfully to digitally visualize the original colors of Field with Irises near Arles. Moreover, the set of optical parameters presented here can similarly be applied to calculate digital visualizations of other paintings by Van Gogh and his contemporaries.
- go to publisher's site
- Final publisher version
If you believe that digital publication of certain material infringes any of your rights or (privacy) interests, please let the Library know, stating your reasons. In case of a legitimate complaint, the Library will make the material inaccessible and/or remove it from the website. Please Ask the Library, or send a letter to: Library of the University of Amsterdam, Secretariat, Singel 425, 1012 WP Amsterdam, The Netherlands. You will be contacted as soon as possible.