UV fluorescence examination is a non-destructive examination method used on works of art. It uses UV radiation to make surface phenomena visible that remain hidden to the human eye in normal light. This allows important insights into the condition of the objects to be obtained, particularly in paintings for the visualization of varnish layers, retouching and overpainting. Occasionally, it is also possible to narrow down the material groups used (including binders).
The short-wave UV radiation stimulates the materials used (e.g. varnishes, binders, pigments) to fluoresce. The different fluorescence properties of the materials used allow a differentiated perception.
UV fluorescence photography should not be confused with UV photography or UV reflectography.