Monthly Archives: November 2018

Unveiling the invisible – mathematical methods for restoring and interpreting illuminated manuscripts


When an old painting shows signs of decay, most people’s instinct would be to restore it, so as to bring it closer to how it originally looked like. However, some paintings – especially illuminated manuscripts – are too delicate to physically be restored. Surprisingly, mathematics may be able to help in this case: as a new article published in Heritage Science shows, mathematics can be used to not only digitally restore a painting, but also re-establish original versions of overpainted paintings, and even animate artworks.

Using science to enhance our understanding of the Ruby Slippers from the 1939 classic film, The Wizard of Oz

Ruby Slipper white background

The Ruby Slippers, worn by Judy Garland in the 1939 movie The Wizard of OZ, are an iconic piece of cinematic history and popular culture. Since 1979, one pair of these slippers has been in possession of the Smithsonian Institute, but merely possessing such a piece is not enough: informed conservation strategies are necessary so that many generations to come will be able to enjoy these slippers. But what are Dorothy’s slippers made of? A detailed material analysis published in Heritage Science tries to answer this question.