Dr Ruth Siddall, University College London, will present a lecture entitled “Painting the past: using geological techniques to identify artists’ pigments in Roman archaeology”.
The analysis of artists’ pigments and paints can be routinely analysed using polarizing light microscopy. This technique can also provide information on pigment provenance, manufacture and processing and reveal colours produced by mixing pigments. This talk will present some analyses of the pigments and discuss the techniques used in Roman-period painting in the British Isles and across the Empire.
Ruth Siddall has a degree in Geology from the University of Birmingham and a PhD in Geotectonics from UCL. She has worked on geological materials in cultural heritage for the last 20 years, focusing primarily on pigments, plasters and stone. She is co author of The Pigment Compendium: a dictionary and optical microscopy of historical pigments. Dr Siddall recently undertook a study of the pigments on the Roman altars discovered at Inveresk Roman Fort.
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