What is concealed from the eye of the beholder : A technical analysis of Amor and Psyche

University essay from Stockholms universitet/Institutionen för kultur och estetik

Author: Teresia Strömgren; [2020]

Keywords: Technical Art History;

Abstract: The oil on canvas painting Amor and Psyche attributed to Flemish artist Denys Calvaert in 1568 has subdued UV, IR and X-ray analysis. The result of these multispectral analysis provided a point of departure from the concept of materiality for further reasoning regarding: attribution, provenience, art period, display and panting technique. The painting is dated though not signed, and the dating is not consistent with Calvert’s signatures. The art period is coherent with the date. Marks, seals and conservation status might support its considerable age. The paintings mythological subject and painting technique might imply that it was destined for a private broad art market in Bologna. The painting technique in IR and X-ray show a relined canvas with an Italian 16th Century traditional built up painting layers, little underdrawing, little tracing and compositional changes. In comparison to a similar version of the subject attributed to Lorenzo Sabatini, it is plausible one version made by pupil Calvaert sprung from one composition in his master Sabatini’s workshop.

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