Current research - The Courtauld Institute of Art

Current research

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Wall Painting Conservation

Current research

Current research


Austin Nevin

  • Conservation and heritage science: applications of spectroscopy for the analysis of molecular materials in paintings and tracking degradation of pigments and polymers, from kermes lakes in Italian wall paintings to cadmium sulphide degradation in modern art
  • Pigment synthesis and chemistry: historical recipes and trace impurities
  • Digital humanities: linking conservation documentation and results from technical analysis for interdisciplinary research, from dispersed altarpieces to comparative technical study
  • Conservation practice: critical assessment of wall painting conservation in Sweden (funded by the Swedish National Heritage Board)

Sibylla Tringham

  • Consolidation of decohesive paint layers and plasters (in particular, methods for visualising consolidants in painted lime plaster)
  • Environmental causes of deterioration and passive approaches to their mitigation
  • Imaging techniques for conservation
  • Remedial approaches to wall painting conservation

Emily Howe

  • Non-invasive and sample-based analysis of wall painting materials and techniques (in particular polarised light microscopy and SEM-EDX)
  • English medieval wall paintings, their making and function in ritual and devotion
  • The history of wall painting conservation, with particular reference to the British Isles


Current PhD candidates


Sanjay Dhar: Assessing and managing risks to Buddhist wall paintings in Ladakh

Supervised by Dr Christine Stevenson with Prof. Deborah Swallow and Emily Howe

Funded by AkzoNobel Scholarship


Yeonjoo (Amanda) Hahn: Buddhist temple wall paintings in South Korea: a conservation assessment 

Supervised by Dr Austin Nevin with Sibylla Tringham


Sreekumar Menon: Early period Buddhist wall paintings of Ladakh from the 11th to early 13th centuries: materials, techniques & conservation implications

Supervised by Prof Aviva Burnstock with Emily Howe

Funded by AkzoNobel Scholarship


Pu Lan: Connections in the making and meaning of the art of Bhutan and Tibet in the 17th and 18th centuries: a study of the wall paintings at Tango Monastery

Supervised by Dr Stephen Whiteman with Dr Christian Luczanits (SOAS)

Funded by The Robert H. N. Ho. Foundation


Amarilli Rava: Readhesion interventions on wall paintings: an assessment of organic, water-based adhesives

Supervised by Prof Aviva Burnstock with Dr Emma Richardson (National Physical Laboratory/UCL)

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