Dr Joanna Russell ACR

Dr Joanna Russell holds an MSci in Chemistry with Conservation Science from Imperial College, London, and an MA in the Conservation of Easel Paintings from Northumbria University. She completed an internship in paintings conservation at the Hamilton Kerr Institute and also worked as a freelance paintings’ conservator for various clients, before returning to Northumbria University to undertake her PhD on the analysis of painting materials, focussing on the artist Francis Bacon. While at Northumbria University she also carried out teaching for postgraduate courses on conservation.

Since completing her PhD she has gained over seven years’ experience of working in scientific research departments in museums, first at the British Museum, and then at the National Gallery, working on the technical imaging and analysis of museum objects, particularly drawings and paintings. Joanna is currently Scientist at a specialist independent laboratory, where she conducts scientific analysis of paint and pigment and carries out technical imaging.


  • Keith, L., Treves, L., Melchiorre di Crescenzo, M. and Russell, J. (2019). ‘Artemisia Gentileschi’s Self Portrait as Saint Catherine of Alexandria’, National Gallery Technical Bulletin, Volume 40.
  • Russell, J., Rayner, J. and Bescoby, J. (2017). Northern European Metalpoint Drawings: Technical Examination and Analysis, Archetype Publications.
  • Bescoby, J, Rayner, J. and Russell, J. (2015). ‘The Technical Examination of Metalpoint Drawings’ in Sell, S. and Chapman, H., Drawing in Silver and Gold: Leonardo to Jasper Johns, Princeton University Press, pp.261-273.
  • Donnithorne, A. and Russell, J. (2014). ‘An investigation of “faded” metalpoint drawings by Leonardo da Vinci in the Royal Collection’, in Menu, M. (ed.) Leonardo da Vinci’s technical practice: paintings, drawings and influence, Editions Hermann, pp.267-82.
  • Ambers, J., Russell, J, Saunders, D. and Sloan, K. (2012). ‘Hidden history?: examination of two patches on John White’s map of ‘Virginia’’, British Museum Technical Research Bulletin, Volume 6, pp. 47-54.
  • Russell, J., B.W. Singer, J.J. Perry, A. Bacon, (2012). ‘The materials and techniques used in the paintings of Francis Bacon (1909-1992)’, Studies in Conservation, vol. 57, no. 4, pp 207-217.
  • Russell, J., Singer, B.W., Perry J.J. and Bacon, A., (2011). ‘The identification of synthetic organic pigments in modern paints and modern paintings using pyrolysis gas chromatography mass spectrometry’, Analytical and Bioanalytical Chemistry, 400:1473–1491.
  • Russell, J. (2009). ‘The Mystery of the Paint ‘, in Harrison, M. (ed.) Francis Bacon New Studies: Centenary Essays. Steidl.


  • ‘Creating a database of preparation layers in 16th century Italian paintings: Experiments using image processing software (NIP2) to define colour’ Paper presented at MoCMA Conference 2019: Discovering Artists’ Grounds 1550-1700, Copenhagen, June 2019.
  • ‘The Technical Examination of some Northern European Metalpoint drawings’. Paper presented at Silver and Gold: Investigating Metalpoint Drawing Mellon symposium, British Museum, September 2015.
  • ‘Colourful textiles from a naturally preserved Sudanese mummy’, Paper presented at Symposium on the care and conservation of human remains with a focus on natural mummies, British Museum, April 2015.
  • ‘Dürer’s metalpoint drawings: examining materials and techniques using Raman spectroscopy and technical imaging’. Paper presented at IRUG (Infrared & Raman users group) conference, Boston, November 2014.
  • ‘An investigation of “faded” metalpoint drawings by Leonardo da Vinci in the Royal Collection’ Paper presented at Leonardo da Vinci’s Technical Practice: Paintings, Drawings and Influence, The National Gallery, London, January 2012.




If the page is not loading correctly, please update your browser to the latest version.