Academic thesis

Catherina Blohm: A technological examination of the application of photographic methods on paintings by means of six portraits of the Schloss Gottorf Foundation of Schleswig-Holstein Museums. Back
Language: Original   -   Translation
Abstract: The development of photography in the mid-19th century heralds the beginnings of a flourishing exchange between the disciplines of photography and painting. This is evidenced by the fact that many artists – probably more than we currently know of – drew on the art of photography as an aid in their work. Within the framework of this development, this paper examines the use of photography as an artistic aid, focusing in particular on 19th century portraiture. To this end, six portraits painted by the artist Carl Schleusing at the close of the 19th century and belonging to the Stiftung Schleswig-Holsteinische Landesmuseen Schloss Gottorf (Schloss Gottorf Foundation of Schleswig-Holstein Museums) are taken as examples and examined for signs of photography as an artistic aid. Specific traits of the portrait artwork and the identification of corresponding photographs suggest that a photographic transposition process may have been used to create the portraits. The portraits will be used to examine to what extent it is possible to use classic artwork restoration methods to produce evidence of photographic methods having been used. This paper comprises a theoretical and a practical section.
Beginning with a brief introduction to 19th century portraiture, the first section of this paper will provide an overview of the interaction between photography and portraiture at that time, followed by an explanation of the various methods used by artists who drew on photography as an artistic aid.
The second section of this paper focuses on the technological examination of the six portraits belonging to the Schloss Gottorf Foundation. The aim of this technological examination is to identify any forms of photographic aid that may have been used and to rate the various methods of examination, or to highlight specific artistic traits, as evidence of the use of photographic aids. This paper lays no claim to having used all methods of examination exhaustively and should be taken as being merely rudimentary.


  • academic institution: HAWK Hochschule für angewandte Wissenschaft und Kunst Hildesheim/ Holzminden/Göttingen
  • kind of theses:  Diplomarbeit
  • main Tutor:  Prof. Dr. Michael von der Goltz
  • assistant Tutor:  Dr. Bernd Bünsche
  • date:  2008
  • Language:  German
  • pages:  131
  • pictures:  65
Catherina Blohm

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