History, technique, conservation issues and treatments

6 hours tot. 3 modules

A summary of the course

3 modules in live streaming
Module 1: 12th December 2022, 16:30-18:30 CET
Module 2: 13th December 2022, 16:30-18:30 CET
Modulo 3: 14th December 2022, 16:30-18:30 CET
Language: english with simultaneous translation in italian
Attendance certificate


  • Gain knowledge on the historical framework of the production of paintings on copper plates;
  • Learn more on the materials and techniques used to paint on copper plates and on the specific characteristics differing from best known supports;
  • Understand the deterioration mechanisms identified on painted copper plates related to internal and external factors;
  • Gain knowledge on the mechanical properties of paint layers applied on copper supports;
  • Investigate the materials and methods used for treating paintings on copper;
  • Know more on researches and recent case-studies.


Often associated with artworks painted on more “traditional” supports, paintings on copper are unique and their conservation requires specific knowledge and skills. This course aims to offer an overview on this complex topic and to give insights on new studies. Each module will tackle different issues, starting from the history and technical characteristics of copper paintings, through the mechanisms of their typical deterioration phenomena, up to case studies presenting conservation treatments and analytical investigations. The course is addressed to students, postgraduates and professionals working in cultural heritage conservation who want to investigate the subject and gain useful tools to deal with the study and treatment of artworks painted on copper.

Module 1 - History and Technique
12th December 2022

16:30 Laura Ruggieri, Paintings Conservator (Mauve srl, Venice), Introduction.
16:40 Isabel Horovitz, Paintings Conservator (The Painting Conservation Studio, London), “To satisfy the desire of inquisitive eyes…”: exploring historical, technical and material aspects of European painting on copper supports.
17:20 Jørgen Wadum, Prof em Dr - (Nivaagaard Collection, Nivå), The Making and Trade of Antwerp Paintings on Copper in the 17th Century.
17:50 Anne Schmid, Paintings Conservator (Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam),“Silvered” copper plates - history, materiality and function of a rare type of copper support.
18:20 - Q&A

Module 2 - Ageing and Conservation Issues
13th December 2022
16:30 Laura Ruggieri, Paintings Conservator (Mauve srl, Venice), Introduction.
16:40 Laura Fuster López, Professor, (Universitat Politècnica de Valencia, Valencia), Metal Ion Migration Mechanisms in the Drying and Degradation of Paintings on Copper Plate.
17:20 - Nico Broers Professor (ESA Saint-Luc, Liège), Preparation techniques and their impact on the conservation of copper paintings.
17:55 - Isabel Horovitz, Paintings Conservator (The Painting Conservation Studio, London), Conservation and restoration of paintings on copper.
18:20 - Q&A

Module 3- Case Studies
14th December 2022
16:30 Laura Ruggieri, Paintings Conservator (Mauve srl, Venice), Introduction.
16:40- Claire Shepherd, Paintings Conservator (Royal Collection Trust, London) & Marta Melchiorre, Scientist (The National Gallery, London), ‘Inconvenient and unpleasant to handle’: a large scale tinned copper panel, Scipione Pulzone’s Portrait of a Cardinal .
17:20 - Laura Ruggieri, Paintings Conservator (Mauve srl, Venice), The conservation treatment of a double-sided copper painting by Francesco Bassano and workshop.
17:50 - Michelle Vergeer, Painting Conservator (Studio Redivivus, Den Haag), Photogrammetry of paintings on a copper support: a tool for documentation, visualization and manufacturing a 3D support.
18:20 - Q&A


Technical equipment
  • Computer or tablet
  • Broadband internet connection
  • Speaker or earphones
  • Microphone and webcam



Isabel Horovitz

Isabel Horovitz trained as a paintings conservator at the Courtauld Institute of Art having obtained a BA in the History of Art at University College London. Isabel is an Accredited Conservator-Restorer and a founder member of The Painting Conservation Studio, London. She is a consultant conservator to the Royal Academy of Arts for the major loans exhibitions and for the RA Collection. Isabel was a major catalogue contributor to the exhibition Copper as Canvas: Two Centuries of Masterpiece Paintings on Copper, 1525-1775, (Phoenix, Kansas City, The Hague, 1998-1999). She has taught at University College London and the Courtauld Institute of Art.


Jørgen Wadum

Jørgen Wadum is director of Wadum Art Technological Studies and a Specialty Advisor of Dutch & Flemish art at the Nivaagaard Collection, Nivå. Until 2020 he was director of the Centre for Art Technological Studies and Conservation (CATS), a research infrastructure between Statens Museum for Kunst (SMK), The National Museum of Denmark, and the School of Conservation (KADK), Copenhagen. He held the position as full Professor in Conservation & Restoration at the Faculty of Humanities, University of Amsterdam, 2012-2016. From 2005-2017 he was Director of Conservation at SMK and from 1990 through 2004 he was Chief Conservator at the Mauritshuis, The Hague.


Anne Schmid

Anne Schmid is a graduate of Bern University of the Arts, Switzerland, where she earned a Master of Art in Conservation-Restoration of paintings and sculptures in 2013. Before and during her study years, she interned at both private studios and public institutions across Germany, Austria, Switzerland and Spain. She gained experience in the field of seventeenth and eighteenth century oil painting through her Master’s research on copper supports with additional silver-colored metal layers, and a year-long project on a painting by Murillo at the National Gallery of Ireland. Anne has been working as Paintings Conservator at the Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam since July this year, after spending the last three and a half years at The Menil Collection in Houston, Texas, as Andrew W. Mellon Fellow in Painting Conservation. Her primary focus is on the conservation and restoration of modern and contemporary paintings.


Laura Fuster López

Laura Fuster-López is a Professor at the Conservation Department in the Universitat Politècnica de València (UPV), Spain. After several research fellowships at Europe and the United States, she got her PhD in Conservation with honors from UPV where she coordinates the area on the study of the mechanical and dimensional properties of cultural materials since 2007. Since then she has been involved in numerous international R+D projects always with a special focus on understanding the mechanisms involved in paintings behavior and degradation and their implications in the design of conservation strategies.


Nico Broers

Nico Broers holds a Master degree in Conservation of Fine Art from Northumbria University Newcastle, UK. He is a professor in the department of Conservation-Restoration of Works of Art at the École Supérieure des Arts Saint-Luc in Liège, is a member of the AAP (Art, Archéologie et Patrimoine) research unit of the ULiège and has been working in the public and private sector since 2003. With professional experience in the field of painting conservation as well as conservation of modern and contemporary art, he is primarily interested in the role of education and research in conservation-restoration. He joined the board of the European Network for Conservation-Restoration Education ENCoRE in 2014, is active as a member of the board of the Professional Conservator-Restorer Association in Belgium (APROA/BRK), and a member of the editorial board of CeROArt, an online publication and a platform for pluridisicplinary approaches in issues of conservation, exhibition and restoration of works of art.


Claire Shepherd

Claire joined the Royal Collection as a Paintings Conservator in 2019, having previously worked at the National Gallery, Guildhall Art Gallery and Yale Center for British Art. She trained at the Courtauld Institute of Art from 2011-14, and was a Caroline Villers Fellow there in 2015-16, where she carried out research on the British 20th century painter Prunella Clough. Since 2021 she has been a Council Co-Chair of the British Association of Paintings Conservator-Restorers.


Marta Melchiorre

Marta joined the National Gallery Scientific department in 2017, carrying out research into the combined use of MA-XRF scanning and reflectance hyperspectral imaging to investigate paintings. In 2018 she became a permanent member of staff, building on her previous research and specialising in the study of historical painting techniques and materials, as well as the deterioration of pigments. Her background is in conservation science and, after completing a PhD on the conservation of contemporary wall paintings and a post-doc on painting techniques of German polychrome sculptures, she worked as Scientist at the British Museum and Historic Royal Palaces.


Laura Ruggieri

Conservator specialised in easel paintings, sculpture, wooden furniture and contemporary art. Graduated in 2020 from the University of Turin in Venaria Reale with honors, with a thesis on the conservation treatment of a double-sided painting on copper by Francesco Bassano and his school (XVI sec.).Previously Laura graduated in Science and Technology for the Conservation of Cultural Heritage at Ca’ Foscari University of Venice in 2012 and acquired the qualification of Restoration Technician of Cultural Heritage at Palazzo Spinelli Institute in Florence in 2014.Over the years she conducted numerous internships both in public institutions and private studios in Italy and abroad including the Victoria and Albert Museum in London and the CRBMC in Barcelona. Since 2020 she has been working for the Mauve srl company in Venice.


Michelle Vergeer

Michelle Vergeer is a painting conservator who graduated in 2017 from the University of Amsterdam’s programme in Conservation and Restoration of Cultural Heritage. During her training she worked at the Stichting Restauratie Atelier Limburg (SRAL) in Maastricht, the Museo Nacional del Prado in Madrid and the Frans Hals Museum in Haarlem. After graduating she continued working as a freelancer for both museums and private collectors. In 2019, she worked as an intern in the conservation studios of the Statens Museum for Kunst in Copenhagen. After returning to the Netherlands she found a job at Studio Redivivus, where she still works.

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