Mathijs VAN HENGSTUM | Tessa ESSERS | Willemijn ELKHUIZEN | Dimitra DODOU | Yu SONG | Jo GERAEDTS | Joris DIK

The aging of paintings is inevitable and over the years degradation occurs due to exposure to a variety of environmental influences. One of these degradations is craquelure, fracture patterns in the paint. 3D imaging techniques offer opportunities to capture the surface of a painting and these patterns at high resolution. In this paper we present a 3D scanner that is able to capture surface topography and color of oil paintings at high resolution utilizing fringe-encoded stereo imaging scanning system. The scanner is capable of automated capture of an area of 1x1m2, capturing a painting at a spatial resolution of 7 micron and a depth accuracy of 34 microns. Scanning at this resolution creates potential research opportunities for documentation and monitoring oil paintings under its environmental influences. A scan was made of ‘Girl with a Pearl Earring’ (c.1665), painted by Johannes Vermeer, which exhibits fine craquelure patterns. The scanner is able to capture the painting of 39×44.5 cm within 2 hours with a tile overlap of 25%. The results showed that the craquelure has more often a ridge-shaped profile instead of the expected inward valleys. The documentation of these variations in crack profiles create interesting paths for future research.