IUCr journals
[Dummy panel]Three-dimensional rendering of a dummy panel obtained by synchrotron-radiation computed laminography. The paint layer at the top, the perpendicular grain directions in the inlay (below) and the panel (bottom), and the folded paper (centre) are clearly visible.

Relics in medieval altarpieces? Combining X-ray tomographic, laminographic and phase-contrast imaging to visualize thin organic objects in paintings

J. Synchrotron Rad. (2008). 15, 55-61 [doi:10.1107/S0909049507045438]

In some medieval altarpieces relics seem to have been imbedded inside the wooden carrier or panel. These are most probably thin, organic, fibrous materials such as paper or textiles. Traditional X-ray radiography fails to visualize such light materials because of their low absorbance. However, synchrotron-based tomographic and laminographic imaging complemented with phase-contrast capability can successfully image such relics. This can be done non-destructively, three-dimensionally and with micrometre-scale resolution, which literally opens up new vistas in the study of paintings.

K. Krug, L. Porra, P. Coan, A. Wallert, J. Dik, A. Coerdt, A. Bravin, M. Elyyan, P. Reischig, L. Helfen and T. Baumbach