Analyzing, restoring, conserving and documenting artistic works or cultural artifacts require complex technical skills and the use of state-of-the-art imaging solutions, particularly contact-free, nondestructive methods. Combined with digital camera technology and image analysis software, Leica Microsystems’ art conservation microscope solutions are designed for the different fields of activity of restorers, art historians, archaeologists and experts in conservation workshops and museums. All microscopy solutions optimize detail-accurate work on the specimen, microscopic analysis of structures and materials as well as documentation.
Please contact us if you would like to have personal expert advice on our microscopy solutions for Art Conservation
So that you never miss a detail
Leica Microsystems provides a range of solutions for the different fields of activity of restorers, art historians, archaeologists and experts from related fields. All optimize detail-accurate work on the specimen, microscopic analysis of structures and materials as well as documentation.
Expertise for experts
Microscope solutions specially adapted to the specific requirements, combined with digital camera technology and image analysis software from Leica Microsystems, are among the professional tools used today by many experts in conservation workshops and museums.
To give you an overview of the various methods and technologies for each application area, we have listed the products that support you in your work with valuable treasures of art and irreplaceable originals.
When you examine paint layers and paint pigments, you need high-resolution, high-performance microscopes with brilliant, cool illumination. Leica Microsystems provide powerful microscopy solutions with fluorescence illumination options combined with easy-to-use analysis software for optimal investigation, analysis and documentation.
Detail-accurate cleaning and restoration of paintings involve the use of precise digital and stereomicroscopes customized for a variety of painting types and sizes. Leica’s microscopes for paint cleaning and restoration provide variable zoom positions which enable you to work at low magnifications and analyze the tiniest details. Floor stand options are available for larger paintings.
Mineral and fossil conservation requires detailed image processing and analysis of through high-performance stereo and research microscopes. Whether you need to view microstructures in 3D or you need to analyze thin sections, Leica Microsystems offers versatile microscopy solutions to meet your specific application needs.
Reveal and analyze unique details of printing and finishing techniques, manuscripts or retouches and view the finest paper structures in 3D with Leica’s range of microscopy solutions. These innovative digital and stereomicroscopes combine maximum resolution and the greatest depth of field to support the acquiring, storing, annotating and documenting you need to research and restore these precious items of our heritage.
When you examine, clear or reconstruct glass, ceramics or stone, you need customized, high-resolution microscope solutions that enable you to analyze objects of different sizes and shapes. Leica Microsystems provides a variety of stereo and research microscopes with different illumination methods and portable stand systems tailored to your needs.
Examine signs of corrosion, dirt deposits, treatment or processing techniques for metal objects or analyzing the metal structure and determining alloy components with Leica Microsystems' individualized and affordable system solutions. Featured stereo and research microscopes are combined with digital cameras and easy-to-use 3D software to support your analysis, cleaning and documentation of metal objects.
Clean and restore painted or varnished wood objects and determine the structure and components of the applied layers with Leica's stereo and research microscope solutions. These flexible solutions are combined with table or floor stands, digital cameras and easy-to-use analysis software to support your wood conservation work.
Late 17th century Dutch cabinet decorated with Japanese lacquer panels and inlaid with a motif known as seaweed marquetry. A stereomicroscope was used to analyze and clean the surface, to identify damage, and to take and analyze samples. With the help of a floor stand even areas that are difficult to access can be investigated. Damages to the cabinet were analyzed under the microscope and documented with a digital camera. This area of damage was covered with a painting of a flower. This was done in Europe, probably with oil paint. Since they form part of the history of the object, it was decided not to remove these overpaintings.
© Rijksmuseum Amsterdam
For restoration and conservation of metal objects, e.g. this silver candelabra from the 19th century. A microscope was used for analyzing damaged areas, cleaning the surface, and documentation. Under the microscope an artificial patina was discovered in the tarnished areas of the silver candelabra.
© Rijksmuseum Amsterdam
Rock crystal (quartz) and rutile needles enclosed in rock crystal (quartz), from Minas Gerais, Brazil. Because of the light metallic lustre of the rutile needles (titanium oxide, TiO2), the trade name of this quartz variety is “platinum quartz”. The picture shows a first generation rock crystal inclusion that was enclosed by a second generation of quartz. Although the inclusion and the host material have the same refractive index, the enclosed quartz is easily recognizable due to a thin film of air at the interfaces. Width of image: approx. 6 mm, transmitted light, crossed polarizers, first-order red compensator.
© Michael Hügi
For restoration of ancient photos, high-end stereomicroscopes combined with digital cameras are used for acquiring, storing, annotating and displaying high quality images of our heritage which needs restoration. The microscopic analysis supports the recognition of the original material, the analysis of the conservation status and effects of different methods of restoration.
© Alinari, Florence
“The Ferry Boat to Antwerp”
Jacob Jordaens (1593–1678), “The Tribute Money. Peter Finding the Silver Coin in the Mouth of the Fish”, also called “The Ferry Boat to Antwerp” (Oil on canvas, 279.5 by 467 cm. With a stereomicroscope combined with a floor stand the paint surface has been investigated and analyzed.
© Statens Museum for Kunst, Copenhagen
“Portrait of a Young Man Holding a Plumed Hat in his Right Hand”
Willem van Honthorst (1594-1666) “Portrait of a Young Man Holding a Plumed Hat in his Right Hand”; The almost life-size portrait dating from the first half of the 17th century requires extensive restoration. The microscope examination shows the rough granular surface of this Dutch painting which is a result of a later application of varnish with poorly dissolved components.
© Sammlungen des Fürsten von und zu Liechtenstein, Vaduz–Wien
Read our latest articles about Art Conservation
The knowledge portal of Leica Microsystems offers scientific research and teaching material on the subjects of microscopy. The content is designed to support beginners, experienced practitioners and scientists alike in their everyday work and experiments.More Articles
Interested to know more?
Talk to our experts.
Do you prefer personal consulting? Show local contacts