ARTG(DTC1)495 Diagnostic Techniques for Conservators, Leonardo Borgioli, Spring 2020 | SACI College of Art & Design Florence

ARTG(DTC1)495 Diagnostic Techniques for Conservators, Leonardo Borgioli, Spring 2020

Course Description

The course introduces students to the main diagnostic techniques used in conservation of artworks (paintings, frescoes, stone, etc.). It is based on lectures and laboratory sessions. Students will be introduced to the theory of techniques used by scientists specialized in conservation.


Note: Due to the number of visiting lecturers and the difficulty of working with many different timetables, this schedule is subject to change at short notice. You will be informed of any changes in advance.

Week 1

Tuesday, January 14
Introduction to the course

Friday, January 17
Restoration Materials (solvents)

Week 2

Tuesday, January 21
Light and color theory

Friday, January 24
Materials used in artworks (pigments)

Week 3

Tuesday, January 28
3D scanning techniques - practice

Friday, January 31
Restoration materials (polymers)

Week 4

Tuesday, February 4
Non-invasive UV-VIS-IR spectroscopic techniques

Friday, February 7
Restoration materials (varnishes)

Week 5

Tuesday, February 11
3D scanning techniques (theory)

Friday, February 14

Week 6

Tuesday, February 18
X-Ray Radiography

Friday, February 21
C14 - Thermoluminescence

Week 7

Tuesday, February 25
Midterm review

Friday, February 28
Midterm Exam



Week 8

MIDTERM BREAK (February 29 – March 8)



Week 9

Tuesday, March 10
XRF theory and practical application

Friday, March 13
Spot test

Week 10

Tuesday, March 17

Friday, March 20
Student presentations

Week 11

Tuesday, March 24
Chromatography (GC-HPLC-GPC-CI)

Friday, March 27
Case studies (I)

Week 12

Tuesday, March 31
Organic materials in art

Friday, April 3
Case studies (II)

Week 13

Tuesday, April 7
Gels and microemulsions for cleaning.

Friday, April 10
Case studies (III)

Week 14

Tuesday, April 14 
Organic materials in art

Friday, April 17
Final review

Week 15

Tuesday, April 21
Final Exam

Friday, April 24
Final Evaluation



Class attendance is crucial. Please be present and on time for each class.


Your grade will be determined by:

  • Attendance (mandatory): every two-unexcused absence will result in a lowering of 1/3 letter grade.
  • Participation in class (many of the lectures will be held by specialists that you will meet only once during the course).
  • Midterm and Final exams: grades from each section will be combined to determine a final grade (30% for the first part of the course, 70% for final exam).

Graduate Students
Students in MFA, MA, and Post-Bac programs are expected to complete additional assignments and to produce work at a level appropriate for students in a graduate program. They are graded accordingly and, if they successfully complete all course requirements for graduate students, receive graduate-level credit for the course.

General Safety & Emergency Instructions

Click here for a pdf of SACI's General Safety & Emergency Instructions.


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