X-ray images

The Art X-Ray machines provide X-ray images of the highest quality, regardless of the size of the object. The following examples will give you a first impression.

To compare the original and the X-ray image, move the slider in the middle of the image to the left or right.

Please note that we had to grately reduce the resolution of the X-ray images in order to show them online.

Hans Thoma: Zug der Götter nach Walhall (1870)

Painting "Zug der Götter nach Walhall", Hans Thoma, Oil on Canvas Röntgenbild des Gemäldes "Zug der Götter nach Walhall" von Hans Thoma

Oil on canvas, 74 cm x 62 cm

Städel Museum Frankfurt

The X-ray image of Hans Thoma's painting "Zug der Götter nach Walhall" shows some interesting subtleties.

Did the artist originally plan to paint the figure on the far right and the bottom unclothed? If not, why did he work out the now covered body parts in such detail?

But there are more details to discover. Have you found them? We’ll take you through the painting in a video.

Pablo Picasso: Les deux frères (1906)

Kunstmuseum Basel

The Kunstmuseum Basel made a spectacular discovery when it X-rayed Pablo Picasso’s "Les deux frères":

The X-ray image reveals a third head between the heads of the two brothers we can see today. In addition, a completely new figure with an outstretched arm appears in the lower left area.

You can find a detailed report about it on the museum’s blog  .
The Painting "Les deux frères" by Pablo Picasso X-ray painting Picasso "Les deux frères"

Oil on canvas, 97 cm x 141 cm

Flemish Master (early 17th century)

Painting of the 17th century X-ray examination painting of the 17th century

Oil on canvas, 51 cm x 67 cm

Private collection

The man in the X-ray image appears older and more experienced than the youth in the painting you can see today. Was the client dissatisfied with how he was portrayed and wanted the artist to change it? In other words, is what we're seeing here the historical equivalent of today's "photoshopping"?

The painting is from a German private collection. If you're interested, we'd be happy to put you in touch with the owner. At present, the attribution has not yet been completed.

Please note
In the area of the head, the cradles were mathematically removed from the X-ray image.

Cuno Amiet: Mutter und Kind (1911 / 1913)

Kunstmuseum Basel

Werner Müller (Head of Restoration at the Kunstmuseum Basel):

"In the painting 'Mutter und Kind', the Swiss painter Cuno Amiet abandoned his already advanced intention to depict the couple in a frontal view.

He overpainted this composition and instead began a portrayal in profile view. However, this composition did not convince him either, so he finally left the painting unfinished.

The X-ray image illustrates this artistic, compositional struggle and allows us to glimpse the overpainted first version of this painting."

The unfinished painting "Mutter und Kind" by Cuno Amiet x-raying paintigs for research

Oil on canvas, 98 cm x 92 cm

The Horse in the Living Room (unknown artist)

Painting by unknown artist: Horse in hilly landscape x-ray images show overpaintings of paitings

Oil on canvas, 74 cm x 36 cm (without frame)

Private collection

This painting was X-rayed rather accidentally. It is a classic case of a painting covering an earlier painting.

The visible painting shows a horse in front of a vast hilly landscape.

You can still see the horse on the X-ray image, but it’s now in a room with large windows and floorboards.

X-ray examination of an aged painting

Private collection

The painting is possibly by the Italian painter Francesco Bassano da Ponte (1549 - 1592). Unfortunately, it has suffered greatly over time and needs a thorough restoration.

On a separate page, we illustrate the information that the X-ray image can provide for the restoration planning:

X-ray painting

Left: Painting ( section), oil on canvas, 138 cm x 109 cm
Right: X-ray image of the section