In the field of art technology, imaging techniques belong to the non-invasive analysis procedures, i.e. they enable a non-destructive examination of artworks in contrast to analysis procedures in which material samples have to be removed.
These imaging methods make use of radiation of different wavelengths (from X-rays to the NIR range) and their very specific penetration and interaction with the materials of a work of art. This makes it possible to visualize material structures or differences that are invisible to the human eye.
Standard techniques include special photographic techniques such as sided light or multispectral photography. Other classic techniques, especially in the field of painting examination, include radiography, infrared reflectography (IRR), and macro X-ray fluorescence scanning (RFA imaging), which combines imaging and material analysis.
Spectroscopy is another non-destructive analysis method.