Scientific Results

Optical coherence tomography for painting diagnostics

Year: 2005

Authors: Arecchi F.T., Bellini M., Corsi C., Fontana R., Materazzi M., Pezzati L., Tortora A.

Autors Affiliation: Department of Physics, University of Florence, Via Sansone 1, 50019 Sesto Fiorentino (FI), Italy;
Istituto Nazionale di Ottica Applicata, Largo E. Fermi 6, 50125 Firenze, Italy;
European Laboratory for Non-linear Spectroscopy (LENS), Via Nello Carrara 1, 50019 Sesto Fiorentino (FI), Italy

Abstract: In the last few years many non-destructive techniques have entered the field of painting conservation, and most of them are routinely applied to study and monitoring the painting status. Among them optical techniques are by now widely diffused and extremely well received because of their effectiveness and safety, nevertheless none of them is suitable for a quantitative characterization of varnish. One of the most important and often controversial stages of painting restoration is the surface cleaning process up to now being carried out without any tool to measure the actual varnish thickness but microscope observation of micro-detach. In this work we present an application of Optical Coherence Tomography to non-destructive diagnostics of artwork: the potentiality of this technique is demonstrated by measuring the thickness of the varnish layer in a fragment of a nineteenth-century oil painting.

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KeyWords: Diffusers (optical); Nondestructive examination; Painting; Surface cleaning; Tomography; Varnish, Non-destructive diagnostics; Optical coherence tomography (OCT); Painting conservation; Painting diagnostics, Optical properties
DOI: 10.1117/12.612558

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