Scientific Art Analysis of Artworks from Museum Ludwig Collection

We are delighted to support this ground-breaking project, which is a collaboration between the leading scientific art analysis firm Art Analysis & Research and the Museum Ludwig. The Museum Ludwig has extraordinary holdings of the Russian avant garde; the museum’s fourteen paintings by Natalia Goncharova and Mikhail Larionov, dating from 1905-1916, will serve as the basis for the study. They will be examined with a spectrum of advanced technologies and proven analytical methods in order to compile a robust technical catalogue raisonné for the paintings of the two artists, thus allowing science and technology to be wielded in the service of art history. This particular combination of advanced imaging, materials analysis, data analytics, and technical art history is the protocol used by Art Analysis & Research, who have applied it with success in the service of clients as diverse as museums, various sectors of the art market and artists’ foundations.

Dr. Konstantin Akinsha, Chair of Trustees at RARP, said,

“Goncharova and Larionov are hugely important figures in the Russian avant-garde movement. By setting new standards for interdisciplinary research – establishing a dialogue on how archival material, art historical research and art technology can be used as integrated tools – we hope to set an example of research standards, what is possible to achieve with them and thereby, to stimulate an international dialogue in the community of museums, scholars and collectors involved with this school of painting. To have the cooperation of Art Analysis & Research and the Museum Ludwig will bring a great range of expertise to this endeavour”.

Rita Kersting, deputy director of the Museum Ludwig said:

“We are very pleased to participate in the research project concerning the paintings of Natalia Goncharova and Michael Larionov with Art Analysis & Research, generously funded through the Russian Avant-Garde Research Project (RARP). Within the scope of the project all of the painted works by these artists in the collection of Museum Ludwig will be examined comprehensively by art-technological means, which will provide a complement to the art-historical knowledge. The project also enhances our own research on the Russian avant-garde, which is an important focus of the collection. We began to integrate art technological examination of our collection of Russian Avant Garde works in 2010, in the context of our exhibition Kazimir Malevich and Suprematism in the Ludwig Collection. We are certain that this study will yield new information that will greatly enrich the scholarship around these important artists.”

Art Analysis & Research is the leading provider of scientific art analysis world-wide, serving a market that experiences high levels of uncertainty due to both the complex nature of authentication, and the incursions of increasingly sophisticated forgers.  For their part, Art Analysis & Research is thrilled with the potential inherent in the project. Dr. Jilleen Nadolny, Principal Investigator, stated:

“Our process uses a very broad range of scientific technology to generate comparative data on paintings. We then analyse this data in light of historical artists’ practice, with the help of our proprietary databases, using data analytics. Both the science and the history are essential. Without reliable and detailed information regarding the production and distribution of materials, the raw data that the imaging and chemistry provides is without proper context. Our multidisciplinary staff is trained in both art historical and scientific practice, which allows us to combine these fields in an effective manner to support the scholarship of art and to safeguard artistic legacies with fact based information. Our work supports the entire spectrum of the artworld, from connoisseurs to the detectives who bring forgers to justice.”

Find out more about the Project here.