Botticelli-style tempera portrait on tile: Imaging and specific on-site spectroscopic analysis and cleaning examination

Year: 2023

Authors: Dal Fovo A., Sepiacci L., Innocenti S., Striova J., Fontana R.

Autors Affiliation: National Research Council – National Institute of Optics (CNR-INO),
University of Florence

Abstract: In this work, a tempera painting of uncertain attribution from the Uffizi Galleries was studied. The paint- ing, which portraits a man with apparently Botticellian features, was probably created by one of the most skilled forgers of the early 20th century, Umberto Giunti. He used a flat tile as a support, covered with preparatory layers emulating a wall painting. To shed light on the authorship of the painting, it was crucial to investigate its composing materials, as well as the execution technique and the state of conser- vation. To this end, non-invasive spectroscopic and imaging optical techniques were applied. Specifically, VIS-NIR multispectral reflectography was used to reveal the presence of possible preparatory drawings, pentimenti and overpaintings. Raman and Fibre Optics Reflectance Spectroscopies allowed identifying the pigments used by the artist. Finally, colour variations due to the cleaning procedure were documented in order to provide a support for an informed restoration process.


Volume: 66      Pages from: 229  to: 235

KeyWords: Reflectance imaging spectroscopy; Raman spectroscopy; Cleaning; Botticelli; Forgery; Tile
DOI: 10.1016/j.culher.2023.11.023

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