Infrared reflectography is a prominent optical technique for non-destructive diagnostics of paintings, which allows the visualisation of details hidden by the paint layers, because of their transparency characteristics to IR radiation. High-resolution reflectography was introduced around the end of the 80s by the Istituto Nazionale di Ottica Applicata, where a prototype of an innovative scanner device was developed. This technique was recently improved with the introduction of a new optical head, able to acquire simultaneously the reflectogram and the colour image, perfectly superimposing. The technical characteristics of the IR-colour scanner guarantee: a high spatial resolution (16 points/mm2), a high tonal dynamics (thousands of grey levels), a uniform lighting of the scanned area and the punctual superimposition of the colour and IR images. Moreover we can print distortion-free reflectograms, false-colour and colour images of paintings on a 1:1 scale. The quality of the acquired reflectogram is presently higher than that obtainable with any traditional detection system, like CCD or Vidicon cameras. The point-by-point comparison between the reflectogram and the colour image of the painting, along with digital processing of the recorded images, open new possibilities for the analysis of the reflectogram. Some examples of application to the study of ancient paintings are shown.