Online workshop on "Possibilities and limits of (non-destructive) analysis of reverse paintings on glass"

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Friday, 12 March, 2021 - 09:00
Sunday, 7 March, 2021 - 23:59

9:00–13:00 (UTC+1)
Workshop languages: English, French and German
Host: Vitrocentre Romont (

Dr. Sophie Wolf, Vitrocentre Romont,,
Dr. Francesco Caruso, Schweizerisches Institut für Kunstwissenschaft SIK-ISEA,

As part of the Swiss National Science Foundation-research project on the travel and recipe book of Ulrich Daniel Metzger (*1671), reverse glass paintings by the artist and by his close friend and master Gerhard Janssen are being examined. The investigation has two aims: firstly, a technical and material characterisation of the artworks and secondly, a comparison of the results with the recipes and painting instructions noted in the book. The analysis of materials and techniques, however, is associated with difficulties that are based on the technical specificity of the works, namely so-called 'églomisé'. The paintings are backed with leaf metals and sometimes also protected by an additional cover of paper, which cannot always be easily removed. There is therefore no direct access to the painting layers.

In this workshop, we would like to discuss the limits and possibilities of (non-destructive) analysis of reverse glass paintings and stained glass. Short presentations will give insights into the analytical practice of various research groups active in the field and provide the opportunity to discuss specific issues of analytical techniques and procedures.

9:00–9:15 Welcome and introduction (Sophie Wolf, Vitrocentre Romont)

9:15–9:30 Das Reise- und Rezeptbuch Ulrich Daniel Metzgers (Uta Bergmann, Vitrocentre Romont)

9:30–10:00 Non-destructive study of early 18th century reverse glass paintings (Francesco Caruso, SIK-ISEA, Zürich and Sophie Wolf, Vitrocentre Romont)

10:00–10:30 Non-invasive spectroscopic investigation of cultural artefacts: shedding light on modern reverse glass paintings (1905-1955) (Simon Steger, Staatliche Akademie der Künste, Stuttgart)

10:30–11:00 Break

11:00–11:30 Challenges and limits of (non-destructive) modern binding medium analysis (Patrick Dietemann, Doerner Institut, München)

11:30–12:00 Comparability of two XRF analyzers on sanguine in stained glass paintings by H. J. Güder (1630-1691) (Katharina Schmidt-Ott, Swiss National Museum, Collection Centre, Affoltern a. Albis)

12:00–13:00 Panel discussion
Patrick Dietemann (Doerner Institut, München),
Susanne Greiff (Römisch-Germanisches Zentralmuseum, Mainz),
Maite Maguregui Hernando (Universidad del País Vasco, Bilbao),
Simon Steger (Staatliche Akademie der Künste, Stuttgart)
Moderation: Sophie Wolf and Francesco Caruso

13:00 End of the workshop

All the times are UTC+1 (Central European Time).

The workshop is open to the public and free of cost, but registration is required as the number of places is limited. If you are interested to participate in the meeting as listener, please register by e-mail by 7 March 2021: The link will be sent after registration.

The video-conference will start at 9:00 am (UTC+1). Please start joining the meeting at 8:45 am (UTC+1). Latecomers cannot be admitted until a suitable break.