Academic Materials Research Laboratory of Painted Artworks (ALMA)


Head of the laboratory: Dr. David Hradil 


Academic Materials Research Laboratory of Painted Artworks (ALMA) is a joint workplace of the Institute of Inorganic Chemistry of the CAS and the Academy of Fine Arts in Prague (AFA Prague) established by the Contract of Association in 2004. Since 2014, ALMA has been an independent scientific department within the Institute’s structure. The laboratory’s main focus lies in testing and implementation of non-invasive and non-destructive micro-analytical techniques and methodologies in the field of materials research of paintings. These methodologies, closely related to interdisciplinary research of historical painting techniques performed at AFA Prague, help in evaluation of works of art in terms of their originality, age and provenance. Consequently, experimental research of painting pigments is focused not only on the materials properties, but also on historical methods of preparation and processes of degradation in the colour layer.

Presentation of ALMA research is in Research part.

ALMA website is here.



Name Department Phone E-Mail
Bezdička Petr, RNDr. Dr. ALMA 266172096, 266173112
Čermáková Zdeňka, RNDr., Ph.D., vedoucí ALMA 266173115
Hradil David, Mgr., Ph.D., vedoucí ALMA 266172187
Kočí Eva, Ing., Ph.D. ALMA 266173115
Švarcová Silvie, Ing., Ph.D. ALMA 266173115, 266173124


The laboratory is equipped with powder X-ray microdiffraction (micro-XRD) for phase and structural analysis of pigments in microscale. Other methods are performed in the Centre of Instrumental Techniques – particularly the electron microscopy and the infrared spectroscopy. Advanced optical microscopes and non-invasive methods, among them e.g. portable XRF and UV/VIS spectroscopy, are accessible at AFA Prague. 



Title Recipient Principal investigator
Formation of metal soaps in paintings as a cause of their degradation ÚACH Bezdička Petr
Cement composite for radionuclide encasement ČVUT Bezdička Petr
Provenance analysis of Italian fine art by advanced approaches of geosciences and archaeometry AVU Hradil David
Non-invasive research of portrait miniatures for the purpose of their dating, authentication, presentation and protection AVU Hradil David

Most cited papers

  • Hradil D., Grygar T., Hradilová J., Bezdička P.: Clay and iron oxide pigments in the history of painting. Applied Clay Science 22/5 (2003), 223-236.
  • Rosi F., Manuali V., Miliani C., Brunetti B.G., Sgamellotti A., Grygar T., Hradil D.: Raman scattering features of lead pyroantimonate compounds. Part I: XRD and Raman characterization of Pb2Sb2O7 doped with tin and zinc, Journal of Raman Spectroscopy 40/1 (2009), 107-111.
  • Hradil D., Grygar T., Hradilová J., Bezdička P., Grűnwaldová V., Fogaš I., Miliani C.: Microanalytical identification of Pb-Sb-Sn yellow pigment in historical European paintings and its differentiation from lead tin and Naples yellows. Journal of Cultural Heritage 8/4 (2007), 377-386.
  • Kotulanová E., Bezdička P., Hradil D., Hradilová J., Švarcová S., Grygar T.: Degradation of lead-based pigments by salt solutions. Journal of Cultural Heritage 10 (2009), 367-378.
  • Švarcová, S., Hradil, D., Hradilová, J., Kočí, E., Bezdička, P.: Micro-analytical evidence of origin and degradation of copper pigments found in Bohemian Gothic murals, Analytical and Bioanalytical Chemistry 395 (2009), 2037-2050
chemie AV ČR
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