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"Madonna in Preghiera" by the workshop of Giovanni Battista Salvi da Sassoferrato. The painting was studied using a terahertz reflectometry technique. | Alexandre Locquet
Tech

This Technology Allows Researchers to View Centuries-Old Paintings in Unprecedented Detail

By repurposing technology used for oil exploration and geological surveys, scientists and historians are now able to identify the individual layers of paint that go into transforming a blank canvas into a work of art.

Georgia Tech professor David Citrin is shown with images produced by a terahertz imaging technique. Researchers studied a 17th century painting using a terahertz reflectometry technique to analyze individual paint layers. | John Toon, Georgia Tech
This image shows reflected raw terahertz signals measured across the painting "Madonna in Preghiera" by the workshop of Giovanni Battista Salvi da Sassoferrato. | David Citrin