Investigating 16th and 17th Century Painted Ceilings

Paper coverAOC's Dr Anne Crone has co-authored a paper recently published by Historic Environment Scotland which combines art history, timber provenance and dendrochronology to provide an invaluable resource adding to our knowledge of painted ceilings and the evolution of painting styles in a wider European context.

Historic Environment Scotland acquired and inherited from the former Ministry of Works an extensive collection of painted ceilings, the beams and floorboards of 16th and 17th century houses. The timbers are a valuable research resource, not only for their obvious arthistorical merit but because of the tree-ring data held within them. The latter has the potential to provide dates for the installation of the ceilings and thus enhance our understanding of their development over time, and to identify the source of the timber, thereby contributing to our knowledge of the historic timber trade. Some of these timbers had never been fully studied from an art-historical perspective and none had been dendro-dated, so a sub-sample of six ceilings from five buildings was selected from the collection for study and analysis. During the course of the project a further two ceilings which do not form part of the collection were also included in the analysis.

'The dendrochronology and art history of a sample of 16th and 17th century painted ceilings' is available for free download here.

Historic Environment Scotland commissioned this technical paper, co-authored by Dr Anne Crone, in collaboration with AOC Archaeology Group.