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Revealing Rubens’ creative processes by MA-XRF scanning: Het Pelsken (at KHM), Medusa (at KHM), Medusa (in Brno)

This project aims at further exploring Rubens work (especially the paint layers) through Macro-XRF scanning, an innovative technique that is particularly well suited for these purposes. In particular, we propose to focus on three of Rubens’ works that currently generate a lot of attention among Rubens scholars: Het Pelsken (Portrait of Hélène Fourment) in the KHM, Head of the Medusa in the KHM and another version of the Head of the Medusa in the Moravian Gallery in Brno.

These cases are considered exemplary, because of their iconic status and their dating from different periods of the painter's production. In summary, we aim to enhance our knowledge on how these works were produced and their relationship to one another through a comparative technical study of both Medusa paintings combined with in-depth art historical research.

Peter Paul Rubens and Frans Snyders?, Das Haupt der Medusa (Brno)
Peter Paul Rubens and Frans Snyders?, Das Haupt der Medusa (KHM)


Gerlinde Gruber, Elke Oberthaler

Ina Slama, Terezie Vávrová, Petr Tomášek Geert Van der Snickt, Koen Janssens, Nouchka De Keyser

Grant Government of Flanders


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