Multispectral imaging

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We utilize a wide array of special photography techniques to look below the surface layer of a painting, including:

VIS—visible photography provides pictures of the work that acts as a backdrop for comparison with other multi-spectral representations.

RAK—Raking light allows for the documentation of aspects of surface topography and painting method, such as craquelure and brushwork.

UVF—Ultraviolet Fluorescence When a work is exposed to ultraviolet radiation, traditional or older varnishes give off a different color than retouches, making it possible to tell the difference between an original work and one that has been retouched.

UVR—Ultraviolet Reflected uses reflected ultraviolet light allows one to see fading ink and prints.

IRCCD—Digital Infrared Reflected allows one to see the underdrawings of paintings and pentimenti, or alterations in paintings. 

IRFC—Infrared False Color
is created by combining a visible picture and an infrared picture, thus making it possible to observe the different materials and retouches in the false color image. 

IRF—Infrared Fluorescence
makes the presence of substances like cadmium pigments visible 

IRTR—Infrared Transmitted enables one to have a better visual representation of underdrawings and alterations, as well as certain paint layers that appear opaque to normal infrared light. 

VISTR—Visible Transmitted allows the appearance of layers of paint and alterations by contrasting what is transparent and what is opaque in visible light. 

IRR—Infrared Reflectography enables penetration of the paint layers in order to see the underdrawing, but the processing time is much longer than other techniques.

 A 4x6m space is required to create a photographic studio for multispectral imaging.


Before and after, Documentation of Madonna and Child, Ingles Collection, Sweden. January 2013. Even an office conference room can be adapted for art documentation and examination. Windows must be darkened.

Step 1 and 3, Visible and Infrared photography. Madonna and Child, Ingles Collection, Sweden.

Step 4, Infrared Reflectography. Madonna and Child, Ingles Collection, Sweden

Step 5, USB microscopy. Madonna and Child, Ingles Collection, Sweden.

Multispectral imaging

To learn more about multispectral imaging and its function in fine art authentication, contact us:

By phone: 212-658-0466

We typically respond to inquiries within 24 hours.