Visible reflectance spectrophotometry is a valuable tool in art conservation. In particular, the spectral data can be used to evaluate potential pigment combinations for inpainting to insure metamerism is minimized. Minimizing metamerism can be a critical criterion because of the wide range of museum lighting and difficulties in image archiving caused by the mismatch between many imaging systems' and the human visual system's spectral sensitivities. Recently, a new method for pigment selection for inpainting was developed that is successful in minimizing metamerism. Normally, small-aperture spectrophotometers are used. An experiment was performed to test whether this technique could be used with direct-digital capture of artwork. If successful, it could be possible to develop spatial maps of paintings, providing tremendous insight to a given artist, and aid in pigment identification and selection. Multi-filter RGB images were used to estimate spectral reflectance factor. The accuracy of the spectral estimation depended on the spectral properties of the system calibration target. The new method of pigment selection was able to correctly identify pigments from the estimated spectra. The reported results focus on blue pigments, often a cause of significant metamerism when poorly matched.
Roy S. Berns, Francisco H. Imai, "Pigment Identification of Artist Materials Via Multi-Spectral Imaging" in Proc. IS&T 9th Color and Imaging Conf., 2001, pp 85 - 90, https://doi.org/10.2352/CIC.2001.9.1.art00016