X-ray of a painting on canvas
Detail of an x-ray of a painting on canvas

X-radiography is a non-destructive analytical technique often used for the examination of paintings and sculpture. This technique can reveal important information regarding the work process, construction of the object and the present condition. X-rays of a painting can show the different elements of a painting, from the canvas or panel it is painted on to the top paint layer, highlighting the use of pigments made from minerals and heavy elements, thus giving some indication the artist's technique and assisting in the authentication of a painting.