Actualités stages Photo CARAA ©

Sponsorship & internships at CARAA

15 June 2021

Each year, CARAA engages through skills sponsorship and internships with students in conservation-restoration and chemistry.


This year, Clémence Coatmellec (École de Condé) is benefiting from access to various measuring instruments (Raman & SFX) for the study of ” The stability of various Chinese inks “.

Irene Bilbao (Master I in chemistry) is also co-supervised by the CARAA and the IMMM of Le Mans in ” Study of red organic dyes by Raman and SERS ” mainly from textile fibers.

Results to follow during their defense !! 👏🏻👏🏻


Painted backgrounds at the Vasarely foundation

12 November 2020

Painted background study at the Vasarely foundation


CARAA is delighted to participate in collaboration with ARCOART (Magalie Troy) and Laura Briganti in the study of painted backgrounds at the Vasarely foundation.

These backgrounds supervised by Vasarely himself are classified as “historical monuments” since 2013. They present different conservation issues including, uplifting layers, peeling and infiltration.

The analyses carried out in this first campaign hope to provide some information to conservators for the restoration of these backgrounds.

Thanks to ARCOART and to the entire team of the collections and exhibitions department of the Vasarely Foundation for this fascinating collaboration.

The examinations were carried out in cross section under visible and UV light and the analyses were made by mean of Raman microscopy, SEM-EDS et micro-FTIR .

A next study will take place in early 021 on artworks from the foundation exhibiting surface deposit phenomena.

To be continued …


Cathedrale le Mans Photo CARAA ©

The Chapel of the Musical Angels at Le MANS

Studies prior to the restoration in the Chapel of the Musical Angels at Le MANS


This preliminary study carried out in collaboration with ARTHEMA restoration was carried out in the Chapel of the Virgin -XIVth century – (or Chapel of the Musical Angels) of the Saint Julien Cathedral of Le Mans.

It aims to characterize:

  • The constituent materials of the original wall paintings and of the successive restorations.
  • The identification of architectural materials, mortars, plasters, efflorescence and exudation salts formed on the surface.
  • As well as a multispectral imaging of the mural paintings .

The examinations were carried out in cross-section under visible and UV light and the analyzes were made by mean of Raman microscopy, SEM-EDS , X ray diffraction and micro-FTIR.


-> The Chapel of the Virgin in the Press (French).
-> Visiting the Chapel of the Virgin -le Mans- (French).

Photo CARAA ©

The Treasure Behind the Wall …

26 November 2019

In Paris, the incredible story of a work of art found by chance

In the vast showroom of the future Oscar de la Renta shop in Paris (4, rue de Marignan, 8th), workers and architects discovered in 2019 a 17th century painting.

After technical study and restoration, it reveals today all its splendor. It is the story of the ambassador of Louis XIV in Constantinople (the Marquis de Nointel) during his visit of Jerusalem … (read the details in the press: The New York Times, The Times, Artnet, …

CARAA was very pleased to have been associated with this exciting study with the Nouvelle Tendance workshop. Here is an overview of the few scientific analyzes conducted on this painting prior to the restorations.


Multispectral Photo CARAA ©

Multispectral Camera

10 December 2018

CARAA has recently acquired a new XpeCAM X01 multispectral camera.

This camera equipped with 30 filters covers the region from 360 to 1200 nm and allows to observe “beyond the visible” in the ultraviolet and infra-red regions and to detect restorations, repentances or preparatory drawings.

But, it also allows to extract the reflectance spectra of each pixel collected and compare it on the totality of the work (mapping). This feature is particularly useful for tracing the presence of a particular pigment in the different regions of an Artwork.

To date, the multispectral examinations carried out with this device have been carried out on various old and modern paintings (Renoir, Manet, Dali, Modigliani, Suetin, Arp, ..) as well as on classified works (e.g. Painted parchments by Dom Michel De Nobletz) and on painted ceramics.

Do you have a question, please contact us?

Parchemins-peints Photo CARAA ©

Painted parchments by Michel le Nobletz

05 December 2018

Physico-chemical Analyzes and Multispectral examinations


The CARAA had the honor to participate with the DRAC Bretagne and Marine Letouzey in a vast study of painted parchments by Michel le Nobletz (named the “mad priest”) kept in the Diocese of Quimper.

These parchments dated from the 16th and 17th centuries, some of which were painted by Alain LESTOBEC, were examined and analyzed.

The study of the pigments, the search for binders as well as the multispectral examination of these parchments made it possible to clarify certain hypotheses concerning the attribution of these works as well as on the restorations that they underwent.

The project was concretized in the form of an international conference (June 2017) and a collective publication (October 2018) under the direction of Yann Celton.

The analyzes were conducted by non-invasive XRF spectroscopy, Raman microscopy, micro-FTIR and the examinations were performed by mean of a multispectral camera (360 to 1200 nm) and UV fluorescence with the help of Xpectraltek.

Tongres Photo CARAA ©

Peintures Romaines de la basilique de Tongres

17 May 2018

Analyses Physico-chimiques des peintures


Menées durant neuf années, les fouilles de la basilique Notre-Dame de Tongres ont mis au jour une quantité importante de peintures murales fragmentaires. L’étude globale de ces enduits a fait l’objet d’un marché public lancé par l’Agence du Patrimoine de Flandre, attribué au Centre des Peintures Murales Romaines de Soissons.

L’étude a permis de traiter la globalité du matériel, réparti en trois catégories. Celles-ci comprennent les enduits in-situ, les enduits fragmentaires effondrés en place et les enduits fragmentaires issus de divers remblais.

Dans le cadre de l’étude technique de ces enduits peints antiques, vingt-cinq échantillons de peintures murales ont été examiné en stratigraphie et analysés par spectroscopie de fluorescence X (SFX), microscopie Raman et spectroscopie infrarouge (IRTF).

L’objectif des analyses était de déterminer la composition des couches picturales. Cela passe par la caractérisation des pigments utilisés, des charges minérales et d’éventuels liants organiques.

Le CARAA a permis de caractériser la palette des pigments et charges utilisée à Notre-Dame de Tongres.  Ainsi, on note l’utilisation de calcite, hématite, minium, cinabre, goethite, bleu Égyptien, terres vertes, …

Ces identifications ont permis de mieux appréhender la technologie à Tongres. L’étude a notamment porté sur les attributions d’ateliers, les couleurs originelles et les altérations subies par les peintures lors des nombreux incendies et dégradations du site.

La publication du volume 3 sur les fouilles de la basilique et l’étude des peintures est téléchargeable en ligne: “Recherche historique et archéologique de la basilique Notre-Dame de Tongres (1997-2013) Partie 3: La première période Romaine”, A. Vanderhoeven, A. Ervynck (eds). En flamand et français (~50 Mo).

Conde 2017 Photo CARAA ©

XRF Workshop

06 December 2017
Elemental analyses by X-ray Fluorescence Spectroscopy
Conservation students from the Ecole de Condé (Paris) participated in a workshop dedicated to the use and interpretation of elementary analyses by mean of X-ray fluorescence spectroscopy (XRF). The artworks analysed during this workshop were:
  • “Mademoiselle de Sens”, (Att. to N. de Largillierre), 18th century, (Museum of Sens)
  • Orbiturary, manuscript on parchment, 12th/13th century, City of Rouffach.
  • “Sainte Cécile”, (no attribution), late 18th century, private coll.
  • “Portrait of man in armor”, (no attribution), late 17th century, private coll.

The goal was to familiarize students with the principle of in-situ and non invasive  elemental analysis, its limitations and its contribution to the understanding of materials in an artwork.

Le Nain Etude stratigraphique

Discovery of a painting by Le Nain

29 March 2017

Analytical study of a painting recently attributed to Le Nain

“Christ at Martha and Mary” is a painting discovered in the church of Saint-Didier in 2012 in France and today attributed to Mathieu Le Nain. After an important restoration by J. Szpila Verdavaine, it is now visible in the exhibition of the Louvre-Lens.

CARAA participated in this exciting study with an examination and characterization of the materials and techniques used.

Cross-section observations in light and electronic microscopy as well as elementary and molecular analyzes made it possible to apprehend the understanding of the painting and to compare it with other known works of Le Nain brothers (see the cross-section images in the slideshow on the side).

To learn more about Le Nain exhibit (in  french…)

© CARAA/Musée des Beaux Arts de Rennes/J. Szpila Verdavaine


National Archeology Days

24 January 2017

CARAA will be present at the National Archeology Days in Paris on June 16, 17 & 18th.

We invite you to come and meet us to discuss all issues you are facing.

Details related to this event (exact locations and detailed program will be posted soon).

The web page dedicated to the JNA is already available here.

Actu-conf Photo CARAA ©


05 May 2014
Meeting on “Archaeological Metals”

Brussels (Belgium), Thursday 8 and Friday, May 9, 2014.
CARAA will be present at the conference “The Preservation of Archaeological Metals, from first aid to long-term conservation” in Brussels (Belgium) on Thursday 8 and Friday, May 9, 2014.

Do not hesitate to contact us or submit your issues on that occasion.


actu-gplus Photo CARAA ©

Social Network

04 May 2014
Social Network and Media

Have a look at the last news in Conservation and Restoration on the pages of CARAA in Google +, LinkedIn and Twitter.


Photo CARAA ©


03 May 2014

CARAA participates to the teaching and training of the future Art market actors, experts and conservators at the Écoles de Condé and at the Institut National du Patrimoine (INP).

Photo CARAA ©


25 March 2013

CARAA is at the MANS’ART (2013)

Le Mans, city of art and history, welcomes on April 5th, 6th and 7th 2013 the 2nd edition of Mans’Art Days exhibition opened to heritage crafts: restoration, conservation, old books and antiques.

CARAA will be present in the St Julien Cathedral in the heart of the old town of Le Mans.
The Plantagenet city is surrounded by a Roman walls from the third century AD., the best preserved in Europe and candidate for World Heritage of Humanity (UNESCO classification). The city opens her doors to all cultural heritage skills: Restoration, conservation, advices, old books and antiquities.

Professional Day Friday, April 5th.
Free event. Access to the antique: pass € 5.

actu-courbet Photo CARAA ©


07 February 2013

Summary of analytical report (statment): Painting on canvas, portrait of a woman
On November 21th 2012, CARAA was mandated to analyze by X-ray fluorescence (XRF) three areas of a painting on canvas depicting the portrait of a woman.

    The analyzed areas concerned three colors:
  • The white, identified as lead white with traces of lithopone.
  • The red, consisting of vermilion.
  • The brown, mainly consisting of red ocher.

All pigments analyzed in this work are contemporary with the second half of the nineteenth century.

The results of these analyzes are currently part of the elements taken into account for a possible allocation to the work of Gustave Courbet.

actu-galle-en Photo CARAA ©


01 June 2011

New research program “GALLE”: Non-invasive study of the work of the glass maker Emile Gallé

CARAA, in collaboration with the LARCROA and the Museum of the Ecole de Nancy started a new research program to better understand and to reference the material used by one of the most distinguished glass masters of Art Nouveau, Emile Gallé (1846-1904).

Together with the Museum of the Ecole de Nancy, some forty works from the museum’s collections were selected based on their historical, technical, aesthetic or chronological interest. These works cover a production period from 1886 (the first works of the artist) until 1916 (produced by the workshop of E. Gallé after the death of the artist in 1904). The data, acquired in-situ by non-invasive X-ray fluorescence spectroscopy, are being studied and will be used after correlation with the historical data and recipes, to identify the materials as well as to better understand the techniques used by E. Gallé.

The characterization of the artist’s palette will also help to differentiate the authentic pieces of Gallé from counterfeit.