Irene Bilbao is a research engineer in colour chemistry at Sorbonne Université and the Conservatoire National des Arts et Métiers (CNAM) in Paris.


She holds a Master’s degree in Cultural Heritage Materials and Archaeometry from the University of Bordeaux. Irene Bilbao also graduated with Bachelor’s degrees in Physics- Chemistry, Art History and History, and focused her research on the study of pigments and dyes from the medieval period to the XIXth century.

Her Master’s thesis was devoted to the conservation of two roman paintings in the South of France with the CICRP of Marseille. She concentrated her last research on the analysis of some XIXth century red dyes with surface- enhanced Raman spectroscopy (SERS) on a tapestry from the Tapestry Museum in Aubusson. Passionate about the use of colour in European societies, she is familiar with different artistic medias, as she has worked on wall paintings, illuminated manuscripts or tapestries among others.

Role within Chromotope

Irene Bilbao will study the documentary archives and the related collections of dyes kept in the CNAM, sent in the first half of the XXth century by major European dyeing companies, to highlight their specificities and contribute to the chemical library that will lead to their classification.

Selected publications

  • Bilbao Zubiri, I., Vallet, JM. « Les peintures murales de Saint-Martin de Fenollar et des Cluses Hautes : étude de la technique et éléments de conservation » in Mallet G. et Leturque A., Arts picturaux en territoires catalans (XII-XIVème siècles). Approches matérielles, techniques et comparatives, Presses Universitaires de la Méditerranée, Montpellier, 2015.

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