- Why is that? Because with medical imaging we can study the paintings without destroying them. For e.g. it is possible to know which materials were used without taking any sample out.
- Which technology is used? To study paintings, X-ray technology is mostly used. Infrared technology can also be used, but this is not a typical medical imaging technology. (By the way, MRI is not a good medical technology to study paintings, because the paints have basically no water content.) The most important step to use these technologies was that they become mobile.
- What else can be seen? Painters have their creative process when painting and it is often possible to understand the previous steps. It is also possible to understand the "mistakes" that the painter made before the final version. These images can even help in the restoration of a painting.
- What are the differences from imaging a person? Well, the thing here is that dose is not so important, as well as patient movement or "patient impatience" due to long acquisitions.
Recognize this painting?
More information can be found here and there:
Schreiner, M., Frühmann, B., Jembrih-Simbürger, D., & Linke, R. (2012). X-rays in art and archaeology: An overview Powder Diffraction, 19 (01), 3-11 DOI: 10.1154/1.1649963