Hanne Tikkala, corresponding author, MA, PhD student, University of Jyväskylä, Finland, Senior researcher, Finnish National Gallery, Materials research laboratory (firstname.lastname@example.org), and Seppo Hornytzkyj, MSc, PhD student, University of Helsinki, supervisor of this research
This article presents the results of material studies focused on identifying and comparing the contents of the pigment palettes of two notable Finnish painters, Helene Schjerfbeck (1862–1946) and Akseli Gallen-Kallela (1865–1931). The research methods used comprise energy-dispersive X-ray fluorescence spectrometry (EDXRF) and polarised light microscopy (PLM). In addition, certain pigments have been identified in colour areas of the works using specular reflection FT-infrared spectrometry (FTIR) and Raman spectrometry. To support the results gathered using scientific analytical methods, archival research has been conducted in order to find notes and references to the pigments made by the artists themselves.
Prior to the research, the main composition of Akseli Gallen-Kallela’s pigment palette was identified using the first two of the aforementioned analytical methods. The results of the research study in question were presented in the online journal of the Society for Art History in Finland Tahiti, published in March 2020. A similar research project began in the autumn of 2020 in order to identify the composition of Helene Schjerfbeck’s pigment palette. The research is ongoing and the results will be published over the coming years.
 All the methods used are non-invasive and/or non-destructive.
 Hanne Tikkala and Seppo Hornytzkyj. ‘Luonnontieteellisin analyysimenetelmin tunnistettu Akseli Gallen-Kallelan väripaletti’, Tahiti, 10(1), 5–55, https://doi.org/10.23995/tht.90554 (accessed 7 June 2022).
Featured image: Beckmann’s Syntonos-Colours sales catalogue. Akseli Gallen-Kallela Archive, Gallen-Kallela Museum, Espoo
Photo: Finnish National Gallery / Hanne Tikkala
Read more — Download ‘Indian Yellow and Titanium White – A Material-centred Perspective on the Pigments Used by Artists Helene Schjerfbeck and Akseli Gallen-Kallela in the 1920s’, by Hanne Tikkala, as a PDF