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Technologische Studien

Volume 8/2011

Content

Museumsobjekte im Detail betrachtet:
Erste Erfahrungen bei der Anwendung eines digitalen 3D-Mikroskops im Museumsbereich an ausgewählten Beispielen des Kunsthistorischen Museums

Sabine Stanek, Christina Schaaf-Fundneider and Herbert Reitschuler

In December of 2008, the KHM with MVK and ÖTM was able to purchase a digital 3D microscope. The device, a model KH-7700 from the Japanese company HIROX, offers numerous possibilities for the nondestructive two- and three-dimensional optical investigation of works of art. The article contains detailed descriptions of the distinctive technical features of the microscope and illustrates the benefits of its use in the museum field.

On the basis of selected objects from the varied collections of the Kunsthistorisches Museum, the advantages of the device as compared with the characteristics of a conventional stereomicroscope are emphasized, and its strengths with regard to depth of field, the detailed representation of surface phenomena and its measurement possibilities are demonstrated.

Untersuchungen zur Marmorprovenienz von zwei Porträtköpfen aus Ephesos im Kunsthistorischen Museum in Wien

Manuela Laubenberger and Walter Prochaska

Through a combination of different analytical methods, the original source areas of the marble used for the two portrait heads of Arsinoë and Licinius, found in the Theatre of Ephesus, could be determined with a very high statistical probability. The marble of the Hellenistic portrait of Arsinoë comes from the Ephesus region and can be grouped in the marble type “Ephesus II”, while the early Late-Antique portrait head of Licinius is made of Proconnesian marble – a finding that correlates very well with a phase of intensive production of this marble.

To investigate the provenience of the marbles of the two portrait heads, a combination of petrographic and geochemical methods was applied. Further, in addition to the conventional analytical techniques, analysis of the fluid inclusions in the marbles was used in their characterization.

Das Ausstanzen bei walzengeprägten Münzen (16. – 18. Jahrhundert).
Eine Versuchsreihe zum historischen Durchstoß von Münzen

Monika Griebl and René Traum

With its minting site at Hall in Tyrol, Austria was specialized in coinage currency produced using rolling mills and technologically best equipped. Unfortunately, there is only superficial contemporary documentation on the tools and punching methods employed at such rolling mills. Through the experiment presented here, we create a basis for numismatic discussion as to how the punching might have been performed, without damaging the surfaces of the coins themselves.

The comparative information from our test blanks and the original coins showed that we are clearly on the right track. To optimize this punching method, however, there are certainly individual parameters that could still be refined.

Die erste bimetallische Münze?
Metallanalytische Untersuchungen an einem As des Kaisers Nero

Nikolaus Schindel, Bernhard Woytek, Bernadette Frühmann and Martina Grießer

This paper presents an as of the Roman emperor Nero struck on a brass flan, into the obverse of which a thin piece of a different metal, now lost, appears to have been originally inlaid.

In order to investigate whether this inlay was made of copper, the coin was analyzed in the Conservation Science Department of the Kunsthistorisches Museum. The results of the metallurgical investigation are published and discussed here.

„Zway khleine Stückhl aneinander von Öelfarb auf Holcz […]“.
Das Wiener Diptychon von Hugo van der Goes: Technologische Beobachtungen und Restaurierung

Monika Strolz

The “Vienna Diptych” by Hugo van der Goes shows the Fall of Man on its left wing and the Lamentation of Christ on its right. The painted exterior of the left wing, originally double-sided but now detached, depicts St. Genevieve in grisaille.

Two of the three pictures, the Lamentation and the St. Genevieve, were restored for loan to an exhibition of Netherlandish diptychs in Washington and Antwerp in 2006/2007. The technological investigations performed during the conservation treatment sought both to record the condition and painting techniques of the pictures and to further pursue the question as to whether the two panels in fact originally formed a diptych, a view that has often been challenged. While the painting technique of the three paintings is largely consistent, significant differences in their respective underdrawings could be observed using infrared reflectography. Aesthetic considerations were the primary motivation for the treatment of the Lamentation and the St. Genevieve.

The St. Genevieve had a very yellowed, uneven, and somewhat greyed varnish, as well as innumerable small and many larger spots of darkened retouching. In the restoration, the varnish layers were considerably reduced and all of the disturbing retouching removed, which led to a significant improvement in the colouristic effect of the picture. The exposed areas of loss were subsequently retouched with gouache and oil-resin colours. Likewise for the Lamentation, a yellowed, mottled varnish was the motivation for the treatment.

Further disturbing colour changes were particularly evident in the blue passages  (garments, sky). Reduction of the varnish evened out its irregularities. The blue areas, which had lost much of their modelling due to pigment alterations and abrasion, were integrated through retouching, by which a general improvement in the spatial effects could be achieved. For both pictures, intermediate varnishes between the individual working steps and a final varnish was applied. Finally, both panels were framed in integrated climate cases.

Die Konstruktion von Kastensärgen aus Holz in der Ägyptischen Sammlung des Kunsthistorischen Museums, Wien.
Teil II. Särge der Spätzeit und der ptolemäischen Zeit

Elfriede Haslauer

Around the middle of the 8th century B.C., exterior coffins with a particular house form appear. These are rectangular cases with posts at the four corners and a barrel-vaulted lid. The mummy-shaped wooden coffin with the mummy lies within. More elaborate burials have two, a simple middle coffin with limited painting and a nested, elaborately painted inner coffin for the mummy, or alternately the mummy in a richly-painted cartonnage casing.

This new form of rectangular coffin developed through a completely novel construction of the joins of the walls and floor; it is based on the mortising of the posts at the four corners. Rectangular wooden coffins remained in occasional use during the Ptolemaic and Roman periods, along with anthropomorphic coffins. There are several variations in addition to the rectangular coffin with corner posts: the coffin case can have a cavetto cornice around the top and a gabled roof instead of the vaulted lid; there are also flat lids. The coffin cases are constructed with dovetail joints.

Der "Rochenhautschild" der Hofjagd- und Rüstkammer des Kunsthistorischen Museums.
Ein Reflex der portugiesischen Handelskontakte im 16. Jahrhundert. Untersuchung der Lackfassungen und Vergleiche mit ähnlichen Exemplaren

Ulrike Körber

The Portuguese expansion into Asia in the 16th century led to a broad process of mutual exchange. Through the connection of various Asian art and trade centres and due to a growing love of exotic objects by Europeans, art objects were created whose diversity of materials and techniques reflects the breadth of the trade activities and cultural exchange within Asia, but also between Asia and Europe.

Not least, this includes a “skate skin shield” in the Collection of Arms and Armour at the Kunsthistorisches Museum (KHM), which for years has perplexed scholars as to its origin and stylistic influences due to its uncommon mixture of styles and decorative techniques. Findings from a first investigation of its lacquer coatings at the Instituto dos Museus e da Conservação in Lisbon suggest an East Asian lacquer tradition. The front and reverse may even have been decorated with East-Asian lacquer at different locations. Though this leads to new questions, it also reveals the degree to which various trade routes were used to create unique objects for high-ranking recipients.

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Technologische Studien, Volume 8
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