TSR celebrate 15 years of mobile infrared!

TSR opened for business in July 2002 and we thought we would bring you a few throwback photos from our first website to reminisce about those days and celebrate 15 years of mobile infrared imaging! Of course we have hardly changed, as you can see…

Back then we were using a Hamamatsu vidicon camera and vips/nip software to painstakingly stitch the images together. It was a tricky process and it might explain a few of my grey hairs. As you can see our office still had a fax machine, and flat screen monitors had yet to be introduced. Thankfully now we can work on laptops with the fantastic OSIRIS camera and we have slightly fewer heavy bags to carry onto site.

We’re excited to see what the next 15 years will bring, and are grateful to all our clients for supporting us on our way.


Tarnya Cooper’s ‘Citizen Portrait: Portrait Painting and the Urban Elite of Tudor and Jacobean England and Wales’

Tarnya Cooper’s book, Citizen Portrait, explores portraiture of the middling classes in the Tudor and Jacobean periods. Tarnya is now Chief Curator at the National Portrait Gallery and 16th century curator, and the book illustrates many works from the NPG collections. TSR’s reflectograms of Nicholas Heath by Hans Eworth (NPG1388) and Elizabeth I (NPG200) are featured as well as a digitised x-radiograph assembly of Margaret Craythorne from the Cutlers’ Company. Continue reading “Tarnya Cooper’s ‘Citizen Portrait: Portrait Painting and the Urban Elite of Tudor and Jacobean England and Wales’” »

Double Take: Copies and Versions of Tudor Portraits at the National Portrait Gallery

NPG 2094, After Hans Holbein the Younger, William Warham; ©National Portrait Gallery, London

Infrared reflectogram NPG 2094, After Hans Holbein the Younger, William Warham; ©National Portrait Gallery, London

This display of five pairs of paintings explores the production of copies and versions, drawing on research undertaken as part of the Making Art in Tudor Britain project. Using technical examination techniques including microscope examination, dendrochronology, x-radiography and infrared imaging to consider the differences between painted versions at every stage of making, the display explores the use of patterns and workshop practice. The National Portrait Gallery’s beautiful 16th century copy after Holbein’s portrait of William Warham is featured with its infrared reflectogram (right) – more details of this image can be seen in our gallery. More information about this fascinating display, and further infrared images by TSR can be found here.

More research from the MATB project has been made available in an online database which can be accessed here.


Taking Time: Chardin’s Boy building a House of Cards

For the very first time, Waddesdon Manor brought together Chardin’s four versions of ‘Boy Building a House of Cards’ to form a small and compelling exhibition of the artist’s genre paintings. Tager Stonor Richardson were lucky enough to examine two paintings for the exhibition, which could then be compared with technical images of the other versions of the same subject, to help unravel the evolution of the artist’s revolutionary motif. Continue reading “Taking Time: Chardin’s Boy building a House of Cards” »

Paul Klee’s Small Harbour Scene at the Victoria Art Gallery

Our infrared examination of Paul Klee’s Small Harbour Scene at the Victoria Art Gallery features in Jonathan Benington’s article for the September 2011 issue of The Burlington Magazine. The painting incorporates two paper fragments mounted on the reverse of another rejected painting on cardboard, a recycling that Benington explains was likely prompted by the scarce availability of materials in Munich in 1919. Infrared reflectography revealed the presence of two figures unrelated to the upper composition drawn beneath the paint layers. These belonged to an independent drawing made on the paper fragment before the support was assembled for the Small Harbour Scene. Benington compares the drawing to other works of the period and suggests a date of 1918-19, immediately preceding the painting.

The Picture Restorer profiles ‘Technical Facilities for the Private Conservator’

TSR were delighted to be featured in Alice Tate-Harte’s article for The Picture Restorer, Autumn 2010. The article includes advice from Dr Joyce Townsend on commissioning technical analysis studies, details of ourselves and colleagues in the field, as well as Sarah Cove’s reflections on her experiences undertaking examination of works linked to Constable in order to aid in attribution.

Alice concludes by calling for greater sharing of information in the field of technical examination. We are grateful to our clients that have agreed to be featured in our gallery and hope that by publishing these images online we can aid access to this research material.