How mobile NMR can help with the conservation of paintings

Wegood M. Awad, Maria Baias

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


The conservation of paintings is fundamental to ensure that future generations will have access to the ideas of the grand masters who created these art pieces. Many factors, such as humidity, temperature, light, and pollutants, pose a risk to the conservation of paintings. To help with painting conservation, it is essential to be able to noninvasively study how these factors affect paintings and to develop methods to investigate their effects on painting degradation. Hence, the use of mobile nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) as a method of investigation of paintings is gaining increased attention in the world of Heritage Science. In this mini-review, we discuss how this method was used to better understand the stratigraphy of paintings and the effect different factors have on the painting integrity, to analyze the different cleaning techniques suitable for painting conservation, and to show how mobile NMR can be used to identify forgeries. It is also important to keep in mind its limitations and build upon this information to optimize it to extend its applicability to the study of paintings and other precious objects of cultural heritage.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)792-797
Number of pages6
JournalMagnetic Resonance in Chemistry
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 1 2020


  • cultural heritage
  • mobile NMR
  • painting conservation
  • paintings
  • pigments
  • portable NMR
  • unilateral NMR

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Chemistry
  • General Materials Science


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