In October 2018 Flaten Art Museum initiated scientific analysis of an unattributed portrait of the violinist Eva Mudocci, believed to be by Norwegian artist Edvard Munch. During the first phase of the noninvasive examination, analysts from Scientific Analysis of Fine Art (SAFA) collected minute samples – submillimeter in size – from discrete areas of the painting. Long wave ultraviolet light and x-ray fluorescence were used to identify the paint’s molecular composition and layer structure. Results from the complete analysis will reveal whether or not the painting is consistent with Munch’s working methods and materials. To learn more about this project, read A Munch Mystery.
SAFA analysts Jennifer Mass, Ph.D. and Adam Finnefrock, Ph.D. spoke about technical art history, its applications, and the examination of this intriguing portrait in a public lecture on campus. The lecture is archived for on demand viewing.
In the news…
Minnesota Public Radio: Experts Tackle Munch Mystery
Star Tribune: Mystery at St. Olaf: Is this an authentic painting by ‘Scream’ artist Edvard Munch?
Fox 9: Experts investigate art mystery at St. Olaf College
KSTP: An Edvard Munch original? Masterpiece mystery under investigation at St. Olaf
WCCO-TV: Experts say portrait donated to St. Olaf could be authentic Munch painting
BringMeTheNews: Portrait hanging at St. Olaf’s College may be a genuine Edvard Munch