Tuesday, February 20, 0:00

X-ray/Multi-spectral Imaging

Currently I am working with Persian manuscripts from the 16th and 17th centuries that found their way into India and were altered in Indian workshops before being brought to England. My close scrutiny of these manuscripts, using new technologies alongside customary methods of art-historical research, has resulted in new findings with important implications for our understanding of this subject.

I carry out research into the construction of a manuscript, based on the object itself.

Codicological analyses

  • paper organisation
  • pigments
  • binding
  • alterations and repairs.

Methods and technologies

  • microscopy
  • ultraviolet and infrared equipment
  • transmitted light
  • X-ray fluorescence
  • multi-spectral imaging.

Pigment identification

In this type of research X-ray fluorescence (XRF) is used to identify elements present in the pigments, particularly those that are mineral/inorganic. The other technique chosen is multi-spectral imaging (MSI). This technique allows similar coloured materials to be easily distinguished, helping to determine aspects vital to the research: such as the order in which colours were applied and the presence of under-drawings.


  • Bruker ‘Tracer III-SD’ for X-ray fluorescence
  • Fort Photonics ‘MuSIS HS’ for multi-spectral imaging.

This research is groundbreaking in its use of forensic techniques. These have been used extensively in the analysis and understanding of European art, however they have not previously been applied to Persian manuscripts in this way. Until now cataloguing has mostly been based on visual and written evidence.

Study of treatises

Comparison of the scientific findings with original treatises on manuscripts, especially 16th, 17th and 18th centuries which allow me to collate present day scientific reports, my stylistic knowledge and contemporary accounts. As a result, it would be possible to differentiate original Persian paintings from any Indian alterations.