During the restoration of easel paintings microscopic paint samples can be removed to look into the fabrication proceeding or the subsequent modifications experienced by a particular area of the painting.

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Citation
Wyplosz, N, Heeren, R.M.A, & Boon, J.J. (1998). Analyses of natural organic pigments by ITMS, FTMS and TOF-MS. In Proceedings of the 46th ASMS Conference on Mass Spectrometry and Allied Topics, May 31 - June 4, 1998, Orlando, Florida (pp. 1012–1013). [s.n.].