Painting investigation by using non

Painting investigation by using non-invasive imaging techniques in the
UV-Vis-IR regions
Marcello Picollo1, Giovanni Bartolozzi1, Andrea Casini1, Costanza Cucci1, Marco Poggesi1, Lorenzo
Stefani1, Alfredo Aldrovandi1,2
“Nello Carrara” Institute for Applied Physics of the Italian National Research Council (IFAC-CNR), Via
Madonna del Piano 10, 50019 Sesto Fiorentino (FI), Italy; e-mail: [email protected]
Opificio delle Pietre Dure, Via degli Alfani 78, 50121 Firenze, Italy
Abstract—The present communication will give an overview on
the most traditional imaging techniques employed in the art
conservation field as well as introduce the most recent advances
in the application of imaging methodologies in this stimulating
RESENTLY, the study of artworks can be performed
using invasive and/or non-invasive approaches [1]. The
non-invasive methodologies are basically grouped in ‘on
specific site’ (on small spot, 1-D) and ‘over area’ (on large
area, 2-D) techniques focused on the diagnosis, conservation,
and access to objects of art. Preliminary non-invasive
investigations are always necessary at the beginning of the
investigation and/or study of a work of art or before initiating
any conservation procedure on valuable artworks, in order to
assist curators and conservators in their decision-making
When dealing with artefacts that can be considered as
nearly flat objects, such as paintings, drawings or other
graphic artworks, imaging (2-D) techniques offer an ideal
approach for performing non-invasive examinations. In the
field of art conservation, these imaging techniques range from
well-established methodologies, such as high-resolution
digital photography, to the use of visible raking light, transillumination and trans-irradiation techniques, UV reflectance
and fluorescence, X-ray radiography, IR reflectography, IR
false colour, etc. (Fig. 1) [2-6].
Fig. 1. Simplified stratigraphic scheme panel painting: A) varnish layer; B)
paint layers; C) imprimitura layer with drawing; D) preparation layers; E)
wood support.
In the past decades new imaging technologies originating in
remote sensing applications have been introduced in the
cultural heritage field, such as multi-and hyper-spectral
imaging techniques in the UV-Vis-NIR regions [7-10].
Another improvement in the field took place in 2006 when
the first THz image was obtained on a canvas painting [11].
From that application, imaging devices have made it possible
to expand the working range of the systems up to the
Terahertz (THz) and Gigahertz (GHz) regions [12].
The present communication will give an overview on the
most traditional imaging techniques employed in the art
conservation field as well as introduce the most recent
advances in the application of imaging methodologies in this
stimulating field.
Funding of the THz-ARTE project through the Italian
Ministry of Foreign Affairs is gratefully acknowledged.
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stratigraphic details of panel paintings using terahertz time domain
spectroscopy imaging system” Journal of Cultural Heritage, (2014),