Scientific Results

Rubens’ painting as inspiration of a later tapestry: Non-invasive analyses
provide insight into artworks’ history

Year: 2019

Authors: Dal Fovo A., Striova J., Pampaloni E., Fedele A., Morita M.M., Amaya D., Grazzi F.,
Cimò M., Cirrincione C., Fontana R.

Autors Affiliation: CNR-INO National Institute of Optics, National Research Council, Largo E. Fermi 6, 50125 Florence, Italy
Università della Calabria, Dipartimento di Biologia, Ecologia e Scienze della Terra, 87036 Rende, Cosenza, Italy
Centro de Investigaciones Ópticas, CONICET-UNLP-CICBA, P.O. Box 3, 1897 Gonnet, Argentina
CNR-IFAC Institute of Applied Physics Nello Carrara, National Research Council, Via Madonna del Piano 10, 50019 Sesto Fiorentino, Florence, Italy
OPD Opificio delle Pietre Dure, Via degli Alfani 78, 50122 Florence, Italy

Abstract: The 17th century painting Madonna della Cesta by Rubens and its presumed textile reproduction created by
Févère for the House of Medici were analysed in comparison. A number of non-invasive optical techniques were
applied with the aim to identify similarities and differences between tapestry and painting, in order to shed light
on a possible link between their respective authors. The use of a multi-analytical approach proved effective for
the acquisition of iconographic, morphological, structural, and compositional information for a comprehensive
characterization of the two artworks. While serving as relevant support for documentation and conservation
purposes, data so obtained also provide evidence of the uncanny resemblance between the two artworks, and
specifically suggest the use by Févère of the same large-scale preparatory drawing (carton) realized by Rubens
for his oil painting.

Journal/Review: MICROCHEMICAL JOURNAL

KeyWords: Tapestry
Painting
Spectral correlation mapping
Raman spectroscopy
Near infrared reflectography
3D analysis