University of Amsterdam


The University of Amsterdam or UvA is a public university located in Amsterdam, Netherlands. Established in 1632 by municipal authorities and later renamed for the city of Amsterdam, the University of Amsterdam is the third-oldest university in the Netherlands. It is one of the largest research universities in Europe with 29,783 students. It is the largest university in the Netherlands by enrollment and has the second-largest university endowment in the country. The University of Amsterdam is a member of the League of European Research Universities (LERU), the Institutional Network of the Universities from the Capitals of Europe (UNICA), European University Association (EUA), and Universitas 21.

Key Persons

Katrien Keune graduated in chemistry from the University of Amsterdam, The Netherlands (2000). She subsequently joined the De Mayerne project team in the Molecular Paintings Research group of Prof. dr. J.J. Boon. She explored various analytical non-destructive imaging techniques to obtain detailed molecular information of paintings. Part of this work was submitted as a PhD thesis titled ‘Binding medium, pigments and metal soaps characterised and localised in paint cross-sections’ to the University of Amsterdam in 2005. The thesis describes several paintings related subjects, e.g. a novel hypothesis on the process of the blackening of vermilion and the determination of the type of oil of a paint layer within a multi-layered paint system. Keune was a postgraduate research fellow (supported by NWO Talent-fellowship) at the Scientific Department of the National Gallery in London in 2006-2007. Her research focused on the influence of pigments on chemical changes in artificially light-aged oil paint reconstructions. Using a combination of various analytical techniques it was possible to identify different aspects of the chemistry of the pigmented oil paint systems. The outcome provided an insight into the interaction between pigment and medium in relation to the bulk physical properties of the paint and in relation to the change in appearance of the paint films. She was involved in the research of chemical changes in nineteen-century paintings that lead to darkening and transparency of paints in the pictorial represent carried out at The National Service for Cultural Heritage (RCE), Amsterdam and FOM/AMOLF, Amsterdam (2007- 2008). From 2006-2010 she was a guest lecture of the Reinwardt Academy of Cultural Heritage, Amsterdam, teaching conservation science to bachelor students. She was involved in a number of painting research projects in the Netherlands, like e.g. the ‘Van Gogh’s studio practice’, a collaborative project between the Van Gogh museum, Shell and RCE, as a free- lance conservation scientist (2008-2012). Currently, she is the project leader of and researcher in the multi-disciplinary research project Paint Alteration in Time (PAinT) (2012-1216, University of Amsterdam) a NWO-Science4Art project. Additionaly, she is holding the position of paintings research scientist at the Rijksmuseum Amsterdam, The Netherlands.


Annelies van Loon studied chemistry (Master of Science 1994, specialization inorganic photochemistry) and art history (Propedeuse 1994) at the University of Amsterdam. From 1995 to 2000, she was trained as a conservator of paintings and painted objects (Postgraduate degree, specialization Old Master paintings) at the Limburg Conservation Institute (SRAL) Maastricht. She did internships at the former Netherlands Institute for Cultural Heritage (ICN) Amsterdam (1998-1999), and the paintings conservation departments of the Frans Hals Museum Haarlem (1999) and the Rijksmusem Amsterdam (1999-2000). She was advanced intern in the paintings conservation department of the J.P. Getty Museum Los Angeles in the period 2000-2001. In 2001 she joined the molecular painting research group at FOM Institute AMOLF Amsterdam as associate researcher, where she was involved in the De Mayerne project MOLMAP funded by the Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research (NWO). In addition, she carried on with practical conservation work in the Mauritshuis studio. She conducted technical studies of the seventeenth-century oil paintings of the Oranjezaal ensemble and the Mauritshuis collection, and looked into their material properties and deterioration processes. Part of this work was presented in her PhD thesis Colour Changes and Chemical Reactivity in Seventeenth-Century Oil Paintings (2008). It includes topics such as the whitening of bone black, the formation of lead-rich surface deposits and the phenomenon of increased transparency/ darkening of lead white-containing oil paints. Since 2008 she has been working as the conservation scientist of the Mauritshuis. She carries out technical research for ‘The Rembrandt Database’ and the ‘Rembrandt in the Mauritshuis’ catalogue projects. She also works as a freelance conservation scientist for various Dutch museums and institutes. Since 2008 she has been involved in teaching at the Master Conservation & Restoration (UvA) and the Materials Science faculty of the Technical University Delft. From 2011 till 2012, she was review editor of Studies in Conservation. Currently she holds a position at the University of Amsterdam, where she is project leader of the PAinT project funded by NWO Science4Arts Program (2012-16).


Klaas Jan van den Berg is a senior conservation scientist based at the Cultural Heritage Agency of the Netherlands since 2000. He received his PhD in Chemistry at the University of Amsterdam in 1994. From 1995 to 1999 he was a project leader in MOLART in charge of the development of strategies for chemical analysis (both bulk and surface) of painting materials. From 2003-2008 he was a Principle Investigator in the ‘Materials and Methods in the 19th Century’ project as part of the ‘De Mayerne’ Program, funded by the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO). Klaas Jan has written or co-authored over 90 scientific publications. He is European coordinator of the Users Group for Mass Spectrometry and Chromatography (MaSC) and is an editor of ‘Artmatters, Journal for Technical Studies in Art’. He is organiser of the three- monthly ‘picture meetings’, international discussion meetings for conservators, art historians and Scientists, held at RCE. He is member of ICOM-CC, working groups Paintings, Modern Materials and Scientific Research. His current main focus is the study of formulations, techniques, material changes and surface cleaning in 20th Century oil paintings.