International Symposium on Painting Techniques, Rijksmuseum Amsterdam, 18, 19 and 20 September 2013.

Painting Techniques, History, Materials and Studio Practice

The beautifully renovated Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam has opened its doors to the public in April 2013. To celebrate this event the Rijksmuseum will host a three-day symposium on Historical Painting Techniques. The central theme of the symposium will be the technical study of historically used painting techniques, the historical painting materials, their origin and trade, and their application in the painter’s workshop.

This symposium will be the fifth in a series of very successful meetings that started in Prague in 1993, followed by a meeting in Leiden in 1995, and continued by the IIC congress in Dublin in 1998 and the National Gallery meeting in London in 2009. As considerable developments continue to take place in the field of ‘technical art history’, we hope to show the advances that are being made in the study of the material aspects of paintings. The symposium will provide a podium for the effective dissemination and fruitful discussion of new work.

We strongly encourage interdisciplinary collaboration between art historians, conservators, and scientists. Contributions discussing technical findings, documentary evidence and analytical results, in relation to art historical questions are particularly encouraged. We emphatically invite art historians to contribute, but also welcome relevant contributions from other disciplines, such as source research, conservation science, the history of science and technology, history of trade and trade routes, historical mining, metallurgy, pharmacy. The program should prove of interest to academic scholars and students as well as museum professionals, curators, conservators, art historians and scientists.

Contributions to the symposium are considered, either as oral presentation or as poster, on the assumption that they are not being considered for publication elsewhere. They should be original material that has not been published. Contributions should be related to the materials and methods of painting from the middle ages until the beginning of the 20th Century. Contributions on works of art in other media which have a direct bearing on painting will also be considered for inclusion in the symposium program.

Call for Papers and time table

Accepted abstracts have been notified.

Conference program



Guidelines Oral Presentations (pdf)
Guidelines Poster Presentations (pdf)

Submitted oral papers will be selected by the local and international scientific committee.


Registration is closed.

The registration fee includes a book of abstracts with a conference programme booklet, refreshments and lunch, complimentary 5-day entrance to the Rijksmuseum Amsterdam.

Registration fees

Please note: There are no student tickets available anymore. There was a limited number of student tickets (30), which has been reached.

  • Regular participant: € 400
  • ICOM members: € 350

There are no student tickets available anymore. There was a limited number of student tickets (30), which has been reached.

Cancellation fee: € 220

Single Day Participation: €150

Painting Techniques and TECHNART 2013
A combined registration for both Painting Techniques 2013 and TECHNART 2013:

  • Regular participant € 700
  • ICOM members € 650


Local organizers

Robert van Langh (Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam)
Arie Wallert (Rijksmuseum Amsterdam)
Apas Zwart (Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam

International Scientific Committee

Maryan Ainsworth (Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York)
Klaas-Jan van den Berg (Cultural Heritage Agency (RCE), Amsterdam)
Jaap J. Boon (JAAP Enterprise, Amsterdam)
Leslie Carlyle (Universidade Nova de Lisboa)
Joris Dik (Delft University of Technology)
Margriet van Eikema Hommes (Delft University of Technology)
Melanie Gifford (National Gallery of Art, Washington)
Gunnar Heydenreich (Fachhochschule, Cologne)
Erma Hermens (Glasgow University, Glasgow)
Nico van Hout (Koninklijk Museum voor Schone Kunsten, Antwerp)
Katrien Keune (University of Amsterdam, Amsterdam)
Alan Phenix (Getty Conservation Institute, Los Angeles)
Jana Sanyova (KIK/IRPA Brussels)
Marika Spring (National Gallery, London)
Ron Spronk (Queens University, Kingston/Radboud University Nijmegen)
Yvonne Szafran (JP Getty Museum, Los Angeles)
Gwen Tauber (Rijksmuseum Amsterdam)
Jørgen Wadum (Statens Museum for Kunst, Copenhagen/UvA, Amsterdam)
Arie Wallert (Rijksmuseum Amsterdam/UvA, Amsterdam)


The proceedings will be published in a postprint volume, scheduled to appear early 2014. All presenters are invited to contribute their papers for publication in this postprint volume: Painting Techniques; History, Materials and Studio Practice. Submitted manuscripts for the postprints will be previewed by the scientific committee. They will be rigorously peer-reviewed, and may be edited before being included.

Guidelines for the manuscripts will be issued at, or shortly after, the symposium in September 2013.

Travel and Accommodation

Several hotels are situated in the vicinity of the conference venue in the Amsterdam city centre. These are also within easy reach of the railway station and the major tourist venues. Participants are requested to contact the hotels directly about rates and reservations. A few hotels are listed below:

Bilderberg Hotel Jan Luyken
Park Plaza Hotel (4-star)
Best Western Hotel Apollo (3-star)
Park Hotel (4-star)

Participants are free to make their own accommodation booking at any other location. The following website can be useful in this respect:

Addresses and links

Contact information:
Mail address: Hobbemastraat 22, 1071 ZC, Amsterdam
Telephone: +31 (0) 20 674 7000

Practical information about the Venue

Practical information (pdf)

Related conference

The conference TECHNART hosted by the Rijksmuseum will take place in the week after the painting techniques, on 23, 24, 25 and 26 September 2013.

Attendees are encouraged to consider to register for both meetings (registration links will be available soon).

Exhibitors and Sponsors

This conference will be made possible by the generous contribution of:

Rijksmuseum Amsterdam

Migelien Gerritzen Fonds