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12th Study Days of SFIIC


(Section française de l'institut international de conservation)
Paris, Institut national du patrimoine, 21-23 juin 2006

Colour in conservation and restauration


Colour is a fundamental element in our perception of the world around us, most particularly in the cultural and artistic domains. Each intervention concerning the conservation or restoration of cultural heritage, irregardless of the nature, will most probably have an influence on the colour of the object, its perception, its support, its context. For this reason it seemed to us interesting to organise a congress on the theme of colour and conservation-restoration : How are the colours of cultural objects formed ? How have their colours evolved ? Can we reproduce them ? How should we measure, identify and reproduce their colours ? What type of lighting should one use in their conservation studio ? These are some of many examples that we hope will be treated in this congress.
You will find below a list of some of the themes that we have classified in a non-definitive order. They can treat historical, scientific or technical aspects, or concern a specific treatment report. In any event they should approach the problem of colour and conservation. We hope to have proposals from professionals working with all types of cultural heritage in its largest sense, as indicated by the opening paragraph or by the themes listed below.
Interdisciplinary communications (Historians, scientists and restorers) are most welcomed.,:
As usual, papers shall have interdisciplinary content, regarding to scientists, art historian and conservators approach.

Le congress will be accompanied by a "Colour Salon" where divers professionals can present their material or documentation in relation with the congress : scientific or historical literature, pigments and restoration products, colour codes or charts, colour measuring devices, lighting systems etc.


  • Introduction and basic questions: characterisation and perception, definitions of colours, characterisation, scientific measurements, colorimetric measurements, colour codes and charts
  • Colour in works of art: the colour of the natural constituents of artworks, history and practice, pigments and mediums, the fabrication of pigments, laboratory analyses, characteristics, aging of pigment, in-painting, reversibility, the question of patinas
  • Principal domains concerned: painting (easel, wall, drawings, miniatures etc), metal, textiles, ceramics, enamels; architecture : painted facades, replacing old colours, polychromic studies of architectural sites (portals, monumental sculpture etc.
  • Subjects not treated : the psychology of colours, heraldic…..

see the programme

Papers will be published in a book that participants will be given at the conference
  • The dead line for proposal of papers is now lapsed, but you still can propose presentation of a poster. For problem about any proposal, please contact the secretariat.
  • The conference will take place over trhree days (Wednesday, Thursday and Friday). Papers will be presented either in French or English, and will be published in their original language, with abstract in both languages
  • The working languages will be French and English, with simultaneous translation
  • See the programme

  • OPTIONAL: Congress dinner (on Thursday). Tour on Saturday (in Burgundy, area of Auxerre) visit of ancien houses with coloured coating, restoration, etc.
  • Registration fees are 145 € for SFIIC members, 180 € for non members, 50 € for students (additional charge 35 € after 31.03.06). An all inclusive special fee is proposed (registration + dinner + tour); see registration form.

Above information can be modified, especially for what concerns fares. You're asked to consult the web site for updating, or get information from the secretariat.

If you wish to receive updated information by e-mail, a poster,
please send the enclosed form

Registration form (pdf format)

Secrétariat de la SFIIC
29 rue de Paris

e-mail :

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