Conservation interns/volunteers and Villanova students were able to study the collection for the first time since the collection's arrival in the 1950's. The top image features graduate Chemistry student Kirsten Watts and project intern Allison Rabent performing non-destructive pigment analysis using X-Ray Fluorescence. The bottom image features Villanova student Alexandra Stump and Professor Timothy McCall examining a triptych.
X-radiography of the Collection
Several paintings in the Ruspoli collection were also examined using x-radiography. The x-ray image of the Madonna (artist unknown) shown above shows that the artist made almost no changes to the composition during the painting process (the wooden plugs on the back of the painting are also visible in the x-ray image). The painting depicting a dark church interior (attributed to Peeter Neefs?) showed a hidden painting beneath the visible image. The artist cut down a larger composition and turned the canvas sideways (the image of a kneeling nun can be seen) before he began to paint the church scene on top.