Beyond paint, metal and ceramics
Materials scientist Marcus Young is investigating a secret underneath the final layer of paint on Alessandro Allori’s Portrait of Grand Duchess Bianca Capello de Medici with Her Son. The portrait, which was painted more than 500 years ago, is one piece of a story about a controversial royal family, and is being treated and studied by Paintings Conservation Fellow Laura Hartman in the Dallas Museum of Art’s visible conservation studio.
The face of the child in the painting appears to have been repainted at some point over an earlier younger face.
Young and students in UNT’s College of Engineering are using advanced materials characterization to look underneath the portrait’s final layer. He also is using the FabLab in the College of Visual Arts and Design to explore how 3-D printing technologies can create reproductions of famous sculptures, and he is learning how silver-plated metal objects in the DMA’s collection were created and can be conserved.
Young and his students are using a dual beam ultra-high resolution field emission scanning electron microscope with a focused ion beam in UNT’s Center for Advanced Research and Technology to create a micron space, smaller than the width of a human hair, to look inside each metal object and learn about its processing history.