Statement of Professor Howell Edwards, M.A., D.Phil., B.Sc., C.Chem., FRSC, Professor of Molecular Spectroscopy, University of Bradford:
"In September 2004 I undertook Raman spectroscopic analysis of paint samples from the de Brécy Trust's tondo painting of the Madonna and Child. The analysis found clear evidence of the use of the yellow (lead monoxide , PbO ) pigment massicot. This pigment is considered to be in pre-17th century usage by artists . The presence of lead white was also registered in the analysis . The analysis also indicated that the medium was not an oil or resin nor made from gum, animal glue or egg white. It is therefore most likely to be of a vegetable-derived, starch based glue (considered to be typical of Renaissance practice).
From these analytical findings, I am entirely confident that the tondo painting is consistent with an early, pre-1700, Renaissance work."
The Artefact in Context - More
Latest Update: By kind permission of Westminster Cathedral's Administrators, an exhibition was held from 6 to 31 May 2012 in St Patrick's Chapel, Westminster Cathedral, London SW1, of the Trust's full-size, digital replica of the de Brécy Tondo, production house-commissioned and framed at the National Conservation Centre, Liverpool. The replica was displayed alongside a full-size colour photograph – sourced from a Bridgeman Art Library transparency – of the equivalent detail of the Sistine Madonna. The commencement of the exhibition coincided with the historic concert at the Cathedral given by the Sistine Chapel Choir, the Cappella Musicale Pontificia, being the first ever performance by the Pope's personal choir in Britain. The exhibition generated much interest from Westminster Cathedral's many UK and international visitors.