Contact details
The Courtauld Institute of Art
Somerset House
Strand
London WC2R 0RN


+44 (0)20 7848 2164
giovanni.verri@courtauld.ac.uk


Giovanni is a lecturer in Buddhist Art and its Conservation at the Courtauld Institute of Art. He graduated in Physics from the University of Ferrara, Italy, with a dissertation on technical imaging applied to paintings and he completed a PhD at the same institution with a dissertation on Nuclear Activation Analysis.

Following a post-doctoral fellowship at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem and the Weizmann Institute of Science, Israel, where he studied prehistoric flint tools using a particle accelerator, Giovanni collaborated with the Getty Conservation Institute, Los Angeles, US, on a project entitled Organic Materials in Wall Paintings. This project aimed to deepen the present understanding of the use of organic materials in wall paintings by means of scientific investigations.

While working on this project, he became interested in conservation-related issues. He then decided to study for a Masters in Conservation of Wall Paintings at the Courtauld Institute of Art, where he worked on the Buddhist wall paintings in Mogao, Dunhuang, China. He completed the course in 2007 and in the same year was appointed a Mellon Fellow at the British Museum, where he developed multispectral imaging for the conservation of artistic and archaeological materials. Special attention was given to the development and implementation of visible-induced luminescence digital photography, a novel technology for the non-invasive identification of Egyptian blue, Han blue and Han purple. Using visible-induced luminescence imaging, it was possible to prove, for the first time, that the frieze and the pedimental sculptures of the Parthenon at the British Museum were originally painted using Egyptian blue.

He applied the same imaging technique on several artworks, including Han terracotta beads at the British Museum, the sarcophagus of Seti I at the Sir John Soane’s Museum; the wall paintings in the Tomb of Tutankhamen, as part of a project coordinated by the Getty Conservation Institute and the Egyptian Antiquity Authority; the tomb paintings of Nebamum; the Mausoleum at Halykarnassos, the Temple of Artemis at Ephesos at the British Museum; the Acropolis Monuments, the Acropolis Museum and the National Archaeological Museum in Athens and the Royal Tombs in Vergina, Greece.

Building on his practical conservation experience in Mogao, Giovanni coordinates with prof. David Park the MA Buddhist Art: History and Conservation. Generously funded by an endowment of £2.5 million by The Robert H. N. Ho Family Foundation of Hong Kong, the programme combines the separate studies of Buddhism, Buddhist art and its conservation.

The one-year MA includes teaching and research in the three principal areas of Buddhist studies, Buddhist art history, and conservation theory and approaches. Taught by a wide range of distinguished professionals, the programme also includes extended visits to important Buddhist sites and collections for first-hand study. A research dissertation allows eight students to explore subjects of particular interest. The MA leads to careers or further study in conservation, art history, site management, curating, and Buddhist studies.


Research interests

 

  • Multispectral Imaging
  • Technical analysis of painted surfaces
  • Ancient Greek and Roman polychromy / painted sculpture
  • Buddhist art and its conservation


Grants


Leverhulme three-year grant for studies on the luminescence of painting and conservation materials

Media



 

Selected recent publications


2013-2014


J. Dyer, G. Verri and J. Cupitt, “Multispectral Imaging in Reflectance and Photo-induced Luminescence modes: a User Manual”, European CHARISMA Project, published online www.britishmuseum.org/pdf/charisma-multispectral-imaging-manual-2013.pdf

 

G. Verri, T. Opper and L. Lazzarini, “In picturae modum variata circumlitio?  The reconstruction of the polychromy of a Roman ideal female head (Treu Head)”, proceedings of La Policromia della Scultura Romana, University of Florence, Florence, Italy, 2014

L. Parodi and G. Verri, “Infrared reflectography of the Mughal painting Princes of the House of Timur”, accepted for publication in the Journal of Islamic Manuscripts, 2013

 

G. Verri, “Visible-induced luminescence (VIL) imaging for the non-invasive characterisation of Egyptian blue: the case of an ancient Greek painted marble basin”, accepted for publication within the framework of the NARNIA European Project

 

2012

 

R. Stacey, C. Cartwright, G. Verri and C. McEwan, “An integrated approach to understanding the selection and fate of turquoise on Mexican mosaics in the British Museum”, in Turquoise in Mexico and North America: Science, Conservation, Culture and Collections, J.C.H. King, Max Carocci, Caroline Cartwright, Colin McEwan, Rebecca Stacey (eds), Archetype, London 2012 55-64

 

2011

 

D. Namdar, G. Verri, R. J. Stacey, A. Middleton and St J. Simpson, “A New Application of Fiber-Optic Reflection Spectroscopy (FORS): Characterization of Low-Temperature Alteration of Chlorite Schist and Implications for Understanding Ancient Stone Cooking Vessels”, Soc Applied Spectroscopy, 65, 1, 2011 43-51

 

2010


G. Verri, D. Saunders, J. Ambers and T. Sweek, “Digital mapping of Egyptian blue: conservation implications”, Conservation and the Eastern Mediterranean: Contributions to the 2010 IIC Congress, Istanbul 2010 220-224

 

G. Verri, T. Opper and T. Deviese, “The ‘Treu Head’: a case study in Roman sculptural polychromy”, The British Museum Technical Bulletin, 4, 2010 39-54

M. Smirnou, G. Verri, P. Roberts, A. Meek and M. Spataro, “Investigating the construction methods of an opus vermiculatum mosaic panel”, The British Museum Technical Bulletin, 4 2010 67-78

 

D. Namdar, G. Verri, R. J Stacey, A. Middleton and St J. Simpson, “A New Application of Fiber-Optic Reflection Spectroscopy (FORS): Characterization of Low-Temperature Alteration of Chlorite Schist and Implications for Understanding Ancient Stone Cooking Vessels”, Appl Spec 65(1) 2010 43-51

 

G. Verri, S. Tanimoto and C. Higgitt, “Inks and washes” in Italian Renaissance Drawings, Technical Examination and Analysis, Archetype, London, 2010 57-76

G. Verri and J. Ambers, “Revealing stratigraphy” in Italian Renaissance Drawings, Technical Examination and Analysis, Archetype, London, 2010 89-102

 

2009


G. Verri, “The spatially resolved characterisation of Egyptian blue, Han blue and Han purple by photo-induced luminescence digital imaging”, Anal Bioanal Chem., 2009 394(4) 1011-21

G. Verri, P. Collins, J. Ambers, T. Sweek and St J. Simpson, “Assyrian colours: pigments on a neo-Assyrian relief of a parade horse”, The British Museum Technical Bulletin, 3, 2009 57-62

G. Verri, “The application of visible-induced luminescence imaging to the examination of museum objects”, Proceedings of SPIE, the International Society for Optical Engineering, 2009, vol. 7391

 

S. Tanimoto and G. Verri, “A Note on the Examination of Silverpoint Drawings by Near-Infrared Reflectography”, Studies in Conservation, vol. 54(2), 2009 106-116

S. Tanimoto, G. Verri, D. Saunders, H. Chapman, J. Rayner, J. Bescoby, “Technical examination and analysis of Andrea Mantegna's Virtus Combusta”, Techne, M. Menu and E. Ravaud (eds), 2009 35

 

G. Accorsi, G. Verri, M. Bolognesi, N. Armaroli, C. Clementi, C. Miliani and A. Romani, “The exceptional near-infrared luminescence properties of cuprorivaite (Egyptian blue)”, Chem. Commun., 2009, 3392 - 3394, DOI: 10.1039/b902563d

 

C. Clementi, C. Miliani, G. Verri, S. Sotiropoulou, A. Romani, B. G. Brunetti, and A. Sgamellotti, “Application of the Kubelka–Munk Correction for Self-Absorption of Fluorescence Emission in Carmine Lake Paint Layers”, Applied Spectroscopy, Vol. 63, Issue 12, 2009 1323-1330

F. Rosi , A. Daveri, C. Miliani, G. Verri, P. Benedetti, F. Piqué, B. G. Brunetti and A. Sgamellotti, “Non-invasive identification of organic materials in wall paintings by fiber optic reflectance infrared spectroscopy: a statistical multivariate approach”, Anal Bioanal Chem.,  Vol. 395(7), 2009 1618-2642 (Print) 1618-2650 (Online)

 

2008


G. Verri, “The use and distribution of Egyptian blue: a study by visible-induced luminescence imaging” in The Nebamun Wall Paintings, K Uprichard and A Middleton (eds), London, Archetype, 2008 41-50

 

G. Verri, C. Clementi, D. Comelli, S. Cather, and F. Piqué, “Correction of Ultraviolet-Induced Fluorescence Spectra for the Examination of Polychromy”, Applied Spectroscopy, Vol. 62, Issue 12, 2008 1295-1302

 

G. Verri, D. Comelli, S. Cather, D. Saunders and F. Pique', “Post-capture data analysis as an aid to the interpretation of ultraviolet-induced fluorescence images”, Proceedings of SPIE -- Volume 6810, Computer Image Analysis in the Study of Art, D. G. Stork, J. Coddington Eds, 681001 (Mar. 19, 2008)

 

2005


G. Verri, A. Aldrovandi, G. Centauro, C. Clementi, D. Comelli, C. Miliani, M. Picollo, F. Pique and L. Toniolo, “Evaluation of non-invasive techniques for the detection of organic material in wall painting”, proceedings of art’05 - 8th international conference on “Non destructive investigations and microanalysis for the diagnostics and conservation of the cultural and environmental heritage” Lecce (Italy), May 15th - 19th, 2005 100

 

G. Verri, R. Barkai, A. Gopher, M. Hass, P. W. Kubik, M. Paul, A. Ronen, S. Weiner and E. Boaretto, “Flint procurement strategies in the Late Lower Palaeolithic recorded by in situ produced cosmogenic 10Be in Tabun and Qesem Caves (Israel)”, Journal of Archaeological Science, Volume 32, Issue 2, February 2005 207-213

 

2004


G. Verri, R. Barkai, C. Bordeanu, A. Gopher, M. Hass, P. Kubik, E. Montanari, M. Paul, A. Ronen, S. Weiner and E. Boaretto, “Flint Mining in Prehistory Recorded by in Situ Produced Cosmogenic 10Be”, Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U. S. A., 2004 May 25; 101(21) 7880–7884. Published online 2004 May 17. doi: 10.1073/pnas.0402302101

D. Berkovits, M. Paul, Y. Ben-Dov, C. Bordeanu, S. Ghelberg, O. Heber, M. Hass, Y. Shahar and G. Verri, “Upgrading of the AMS Facility at the Weizmann 14UD Pelletron Accelerator”, Nuclear Instruments and Methods in Physics Research, Section B, 2004 (223) 161-167

 

2003


M. Paul, C. Feldstein, I. Ahmad, D. Berkovits, C. Bordeanu, J. Caggiano, S. Ghelberg, J. Görres, J. Greene, M. Hass, A. Heinz, D. Henderson, S.K. Hui, R.V.F. Janssens, C.L. Jiang, S. Jiang, Y. Nir-El, R.C. Pardo, T. Pennington, K.E. Rehm, G. Savard, G. Verri, R. Vondrasek, I. Wiedenhover and M. WiescherCounting, “44Ti nuclei from the 40Ca(alpha,gamma)44Ti reaction”, Nucl. Phys. A 718, 2003 239C-242C

 

2002


G. Verri, E. Boaretto, C. Bordeanu, M. Hass, M. Paul and S. Weiner, “10Be Measurements on Neolithic and Palaeolithic Tools from Israel”, Geochim. Cosmochim. Acta 66-S1 (2002) A805; August 18-23, 12th Annual VM Goldschmidt Conference (incorporating ICOG X), August 18-23, Davos, Switzerland, 2002

A. Tartari, G. Verri, A. Da Re, F. Mezzetti, C. Bonifazzi and L. Rapezzi, “Improvement of calibration assessment for gold fast-neutron activation analysis using plasma focus devices”, Meas. Sci. Technol., (13), 2002 939-945

 

2001


A. Da Re, F. Mezzetti, A. Tartari, G. Verri, L. Rapezzi, and V. A. Gribkov, “Preliminary study on X-ray source from Plasma Focus device for fast radiography”, Nukleonika, 46 (S1), 2001 S123-S125

L. Bilbao, L. Bernal, G. Linhart and G. Verri, “D-T ignition in a Z-pinch compressed by imploding liner”, Nuclear Fusion, 41 (11), 2001 1151-1558

 

2000


G. Verri, F. Mezzetti, A. Da Re, A. Bortolotti and L. Rapezzi, “Fast Neutron Activation Analysis of Gold by Inelastic Scattering, 197Au(n, n’gamma)197Au(m), by mean of Plasma Focus Device”, Nukleonica, 45(3), 2000 189-191

J.G. Linhart, L. Bilbao and G. Verri, “Fusion from a Z-pinch compressed by a cylindrical liner”, Proc. 10th ICENES, Petten 2000 488

 

J.G. Linhart and G. Verri, “Velocity multiplication in a staged liner system”, Czek J. Phys., (5), 2000 623

 

1998


A. Bortolotti, A. Da Re, M. Gambaccini, F. Mezzetti, V. Nardi, A. Taibi, G. Verri and C. Powell, “Correlation of X Ray and Neutron Yield in PF Discharges”, J. of Tech. Phys. (39), Kudowa Zdroj (Poland), Infeld, Sadowski, Bruzzone, 1998