Städel Museum


The Art X-Ray machine at the

Städel Museum

Frankfurt on the Main River, Germany

X-ray machine with painting in Städel Museum Frankfurt

Technical data

Maximum mountable size of painting (W x H):115 cm x 115 cm
Maximum size of the X-ray image (W x H)115 cm x 115 cm
13'800 x 13'800 pixels
190 megapixels
Resolution of the X-ray image:300 DPI
Pixelsize 0.083 mm
X-ray system:20 kV – 100 kV
1000 W

Video of the Städel Museum, Frankfurt

Video in German, English subtitles available


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The video of the Städel Museum gives you an insight into the work of restoration for paintings and modern sculptures. In the initial sequence up to 1:25, they use the Art X-Ray system.

Stephan Knobloch

is head of restoration for paintings and modern sculptures at the Städel Museum. He is working with NTB's Art X-Ray unit since 2012.

Stephan Knobloch: The University of Fine Arts - Städel School - offers their students an exceptional basis for their projects in restoration and preservation. In such a study the analysis of artworks today requires a lot of manual work. For example students have to determine the wood species of frames and to assess the conservation status of an artwork based on performed restoration work. Crucial for the value of a painting are mainly retouchings and fillings, which may differ in their very nature.

Through digital X-raying, an artwork can pass an identification procedure: Which artist created it? Is it the original or even a fake? In some cases it may also be a copy or a student work. So many paintings also conceal hidden works under the visible color layer. Leaded colors stand out clearly in the X-ray image.

In the practical work the Art X-Ray system provides many advantages:
Due to the digital X-ray, we have the results right away. Defects and other conspicous details can be seen immediately. It saves us a lot of time that we would otherwise spend with additional laboratory work. There are no longer costs for chemical methods and the film developement with high-maintenance equipment. X-ray film material becomes more and more expensive! And also, I am pleased that we have banished - by Art X-Ray - all chemicals for the development of X-ray films out of our work.

The simple design of the system allows operation without any special technical knowledge. NTB offers a technical introduction during the installation of the system, and is also accessible for any questions at any time.

Museum Belvedere