Silvia Rita Amato

Conservation Scientist, Department of Conservation

I am a Conservation Scientist whose research interests focus on the technical examination of paintings using imaging techniques and spectroscopic methods; artists’ materials and painting techniques; and the application of new methods for the technical study of paintings.

I work as a Conservation Scientist in the Department of Conservation of The Courtauld, where I design and deliver technical analysis of paintings to address technical questions, assess conservation condition and examine materials and techniques.

I introduce and supervise MA students in the practical use of methods for technical imaging of paintings and other methods of material analysis.

I deliver lectures and workshops on specific aspects of technical imaging of paintings, data processing and Health and Safety.

I co-supervise MA students research projects and provides support to PhD an Post-doctoral fellows.

Following an MA in Science for the Conservation and Restoration of Cultural Heritage from the University of Parma (Italy, 2012), I obtained a PhD in Conservation at The Courtauld in 2022, which focused on the contribution of reflectance imaging spectroscopy and MA-XRF scanning to the study of paintings by Édouard Manet from The Courtauld Gallery. In 2013, I was a post-graduate intern at the Science Section of the Conservation Department of the Victoria & Albert Museum in London, where I examined a group of Jain and Hindu manuscript folios from the V&A collection using optical microscopy, Raman microscopy and X-ray fluorescence.

I researched and published on the technical analysis of Byzantine wall paintings, Jain and Hindu manuscripts, and Impressionist paintings.

Research interests

  • Imaging techniques
  • Spectroscopic methods
  • Artists’ materials and painting techniques
  • Application of new methods for the technical study of paintings
  • Technical Art History
  • Conservation Science
  • History of Art


  • Amato S. R., Burnstock A., ‘The contribution of scanning X-ray fluorescence to the investigation of easel paintings: Examples of applications from the Courtauld Gallery’. In ‘Lasers in Conservation of Artworks XIII’, edited by Salvatore Sianoand Daniele Ciofini. London: CRC Press, 2023. DOI: 10.1201/9781003386872-4.
  • Stonor K., Richardson C., Amato S. R., Nevin A., Burnstock A., ‘Rubens’s Death of Hippolytus (1610-12): How scanning XRF shed new light on old questions’. In ‘Lasers in Conservation of Artworks XIII’, edited by Salvatore Siano and Daniele Ciofini. London: CRC Press, 2023. DOI: 10.1201/9781003386872-1.
  • Gomez Lobon M., Ghirardello M., Juncosa Darder E., Palomino Cabello C., Bauza M., Cotte M., Burnstock A., Nevin A., Amato S. R., Izzo F., Comelli D., ‘A study of cadmium yellow paints from Joan Miró’s paintings and studio materials preserved at the Fundació Miró Mallorca’, Heritage Science, 2023, 11: 145. DOI:
  • Melita L. N., Amato S. R., Risdonne V., Ledwina L., Nevin A., Burgio L., ‘Francis Williams: Shedding light on the production, materials and techniques of the portrait of a Jamaican scholar’, X-Ray Spectrometry, 2023, 1. DOI:
  • Amato S.R., Burnstock A., Michelin A., ‘A Preliminary Study on the Differentiation of Linseed and Poppy Oil Using Principal Component Analysis Methods applied to Fiber Optics Reflectance Spectroscopy and Diffuse Reflectance Imaging Spectroscopy’, Sensors 20, 24 (2020) 7125. DOI: 10.3390/s20247125.
  • Amato S.R., Cross M., Burnstock A., Janssens K., Dik J., Cartechini L., Michelin A., Tournié A., ‘Examining Édouard Manet’s Le Déjeuner sur l’herbe from the Courtauld Gallery using spectral imaging techniques’. In ‘Tales of the Unexpected’ In Paintings Conservation, edited by Mary Kempski, Jo Kirby, Victoria Leanse, and Kristina Mandy. London: Archetype Publications, 2020.
  • Amato S.R., Burnstock A., Cross M., Janssens K., Rosi F., Cartechini L., Fontana R., Dal Fovo A., Paolantoni M., Grazia C., Romani A., Michelin A., Andraud C., Tournié A., Dik J., ‘Interpreting technical evidence from spectral imaging of paintings by Édouard Manet in the Courtauld Gallery’, X-Ray Spectrometry, 2018; 1-11. DOI: 10.1002/xrs.2828.
  • Amato S.R., Bersani D., Lottici P.P., Pogliani P., Pelosi C., ‘A multi-analytical approach to the study of the mural paintings in the presbytery of Santa Maria Antiqua al Foro Romano in Rome’, Archaeometry 59, 6 (2017) 1050-1064. DOI: 10.1111/arcm.12296.
  • Amato S.R., ‘Beyond Visible Light’, ed. Rory McCartney, Archive/Archive, Issue B, 2017.
  • Amato S. R., Burnstock A., ‘When Art meets Science. Traditional and cutting-edge scientific methods applied to the study of paintings at the Courtauld’, The Courtauld News, issue 38, 2015.
  • Amato S.R., Pigments in Jain manuscript art, ©JAINpedia 2013. https:/