RRR Network


Two PhD positions for conservators/art historians at the University of Amsterdam

We would like to draw your attention to two PhD positions at the University of Amsterdam, within research programme ‘Down to the Ground: a historical, visual and scientific analysis of coloured grounds in Netherlandish paintings, 1550-1650’.

Apply before September 20, 2018.

PhD candidate ‘The spread of coloured grounds to the Netherlands, 1550-1650’
PhD candidate ‘The role of ground colour within the painting process and its influence on appearance’


Ground colours have a profound effect on painting methods and the visual characteristics of finished pictures. Coloured grounds originate in late 15th-century Italy and spread North around 1550. In Down to the Ground, art historians, conservators and scientists (University of Amsterdam, Technical University Delft, museum partners) investigate the impact of coloured grounds in the Netherlands through three interwoven subprojects. Subproject 1 (PhD1) focuses on the transfer and spread of coloured grounds and on the influence of advances in Early Modern optics and colour theory on this development; subproject 2 (PhD2) investigates the role of ground colour in the painting process focusing on the impact of coloured grounds on painting technique, visual effects and ageing effects; subproject 3 (postdoc) develops innovative non-invasive depth-resolved spectral imaging instrumentation (DRSI) to support research into visual and optical characteristics and colour changes. Interdisciplinary workshops will focus on the evaluation of technical art history methodology. The research will conclude with a standard reference work on the complex mix of cultural and technological factors that allowed the use of coloured grounds to develop.

More information on both positions is available on:



Maartje Stols-Witlox, project leader Down to the Ground: m.j.n.stols-witlox@uva.nl