This month, we had the honour and pleasure of welcoming Dr Andrea Seim to The Phoebus Foundation’s art conservation studio. With her exceptional knowledge and research in dendrochronology – the scientific method of dating annual rings of trees (also called growth rings) to the exact year in which they were formed – Dr Seim is able to date and identify the wood used in paintings on panel.

The width of the annual rings is measured by means of a macro photograph. This plank is part of the oak panel of The Annunciation by Jef Van der Veken (1872-1964)

During her stay, Dr Seim examined the wood from the panel Virgin with Child and Two Putti in Floral Wreath (c.1600) by Andries Daniels ( active 1599-1602) and Ambrosius Francken I (ca. 1544/1545-1618). For the occasion, she expressed her interest in different research methods, pointing out the importance of documentation and research on environmental and climatic changes around the world. These historical changes are an important anchor point in the analysis of historical and archaeological wood. In addition, she explained the new developments in dendrochronological research. The Phoebus Foundation was delighted to facilitate this visit with a small workshop on wood research.

Wood anatomical identification of the planks for  Adoration of the Magi by Simon Pereyns (1530-1589)