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Shades of green in 15th century paintings: combined microanalysis of the materials using synchrotron radiation XRD, FTIR and XRF

DOI: 10.1007/s00339-012-7483-4 DOI Help

Authors: Nati Salvado (Universitat Politecnica de Catalunya) , Salvador Buti (Universitat Politecnica de Catalunya) , Marine Cotte , Gianfelice Cinque (Diamond Light Source) , Trinitat Pradell (Universitat Politechnica de Catalunya)
Co-authored by industrial partner: No

Type: Journal Paper
Journal: Applied Physics A

State: Published (Approved)
Published: December 2012

Abstract: A representative selection of green paintings from fifteenth century Catalonia and the Crown of Aragon are analyzed by a combination of synchrotron radiation microanalytical techniques including FTIR, XRD, and XRF. The green pigments themselves are found to be a mixture of copper acetates/basic copper acetates and basic copper chlorides. Nevertheless, a broader range of green shades were obtained by mixing the green pigment with yellow, white, and blue pigments and applied forming a sequence of micrometric layers. Besides the nature of the pigments themselves, degradation and reaction products, such as carboxylates, formates and oxalates were also identified. Some of the copper based compounds, such as the basic copper chloride, may be either part of the original pigment or a weathering product. The high resolution, high brilliance, and small footprint of synchrotron radiation proved to be essential for the analysis of those submillimetric paint layers made of a large variety of compounds heterogeneous in nature and distribution and present in extremely low concentrations.

Journal Keywords: Copper Oxalate ; Lead Tin Yellow; Copper Carboxylate; Basic Copper Carbonate; Copper Pigment; Acetic Acid Vapor; Paint Surface; Green Pigment; Paint Layer; Animal Glue; Acetate; Paint Sample; Atacamite; Egg Tempera

Subject Areas: Physics


Instruments: B22-Multimode InfraRed imaging And Microspectroscopy

Added On: 07/01/2013 15:53

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