Is diagnostics interesting only for specialists? Not at all!
The secrets hidden in the diagnostic images are fascinating to everyone. In addition to the Modigliani exhibition, the small town of Lille offers an innovative exhibition on Goya hosted by the Museum of Fine Arts. Not the classic exhibition of paintings gathered in the rooms of a museum, but a different show , that makes use of many of the most modern exhibition techniques.
The first section is a huge white drum on which Goya’s artistic story unfolds, interspersed with the events that influenced his subjects and expression, but also about Goya’s influence on subsequent culture, up to Sergio Leone ‘s modern cinema. This large white drum contains the artworks and at the same time gives the opportunity to enjoy an immersive experience, with giant murals of paintings, engravings, and 4 of his animated self-portraits that wink at us.
On the next floor an ad hoc environment has been created, divided into rooms, where artworks and videos are simultaneously displayed on giant monitors. In the videos there are excerpts from a movie about Goya’s life. The first room displays his Capricci compared with the homage to them realised by Dali. A large monitor, almost a background, shows a reconstruction of Goya’s atelier and the painter in the act of creating the engraving and printing.
There is also a section where the conservation status of two works is shown with photos in diffused and grazing light. From here you enter the most interesting room -to us- (to tell the truth it is difficult to make a ranking). This time it is the diagnostic analyses that are on display. A video of almost 10 minutes by CRMF2 shows how the study of the painting “The Times” takes place through scientific investigations: UV Fluorescence, IR Reflectography and X-Radiography. The latter reveals that the canvas hides another painting.
We were curious about the reaction of the visitors: everyone stopped and looked carefully, observing everything.
In conclusion, an exhibition that we would like to see, as a format, also in many more occasions.
There is a lot of diagnostics that could be used to intrigue, enrich the cultural background of a visitor and to invite them to study.
In our laboratory, customers often ask for being present during acquisitions, especially when our IR Reflectography scanner is used. Their curiosity and wonder are a further reason of reflection for us.
Diagnostics can and must leave the laboratories to show its results that can become subject of relevant discussions.
In our opinion, all art catalogs should always contain a technical section. An additional chapter that would add value to the historical-artistic files.