Optical analyses on the Uffizi Gallery’s drawing 8P by Leonardo da Vinci

The HSG published the results of non-invasive optical analyses on the Uffizi Gallery’s drawing 8P by Leonardo da Vinci. Together with art historians and conservators, the HSG unveiled hidden, technical features of a fragile and priceless artwork.

The HSG applied different types of analysis on both sides of the drawing.

It used multispectral reflectography in the visible (Vis) and near-infrared (NIR) regions to obtain a spectral mapping of the drawing materials, to be subsequently integrated with technical information provided by art historians and conservators. Morphological analysis by microprofilometry allowed for the identification of the typical wave-like texture impressed in the paper during the sheet’s manufacture, as well as of further paper-impressed traits attributable to the drawing transfer method used by Leonardo. Optical coherence tomography revealed a set of micrometric engraved details in the blank background, which lack any trace of colored material, nor display any apparent relation to the drawn landscape. The disclosure of hidden technical features allowed the HSG to offer new insights into Leonardo’s still under-investigated graphic practices.

Read the open access article: “Unveiling the Invisible in Uffizi Gallery’s Drawing 8P by Leonardo with Non-Invasive Optical Techniques” (2021)

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