Fiber optics reflectance spectroscopy in the entire VIS-IR range: A powerful tool for the non-invasive characterization of paintings

Year: 2005

Authors: Bacci M., Bellucci R., Cucci C., Frosinini C., Picollo M., Porcinai S., Radicati B.

Autors Affiliation: Istituto di Fisica Applicata Nello Carrara, CNR, Florence, Italy; Opificio delle Pietre Dure, Florence, Italy

Abstract: Fiber optics reflectance spectroscopy (FORS) in the entire 380 – 11,000 nm range has been used to non-invasively characterize Leonardo\’s painting Madonna of the Yarnwinder. A preliminary analysis of the recorded spectra made it possible to obtain useful information concerning the pigments used, previous restoration work, the preparatory layer, and the binding medium. In particular, it was found that Thénard\’s blue was used in a previous restoration instead of the original ultramarine. As regards the painting technique, typical spectral features of oil binding medium are present in the mid-IR spectra, while near IR spectra reveal the occurrence of clay in the preparatory layer.

Conference title:

KeyWords: Infrared spectroscopy; Pigments; Spectroscopic analysis, Oil binding; Preparatory layers, Fiber optics