Materials and Structures

, Volume 38, Issue 3, pp 419–424

Dama de Elche: Pigments, surface coating and stone of the sculpture

  • M. P. Luxán
  • J. L. Prada
  • F. Dorrego
Scientific Reports
  • 144 Downloads

Abstract

The Dama de Elche (4th–5th century B.C.), an emblematic piece of the ancient Iberian culture, was first sculpted in fossiliferous limestone of Tertiary Age. In this first systematic study, two classic pigments have been identified: Egyptian blue, prepared with a potassium flux, and natural vermilion applied over a preparation layer of gypsum, mixed with calcium carbonate, that migrated and recrystallized on the polychrome surface of the bust, process favoured by the change suffered after its disinterment. No anachronisms have been found on the identified polychromy, the existing coating surface nor any other element that might suggest it to be a modern forgery.

Résumé

La Dama de Eleche, sculpture emblématique de la culture ibère, fut taillée en pierre calcaire avec des fossiles de l'ère tertiaire. Dans cette première investigation systématique, on a identifié deux pigments classiques: le bleu égyptien, préparé avec un fondant potassique, et le vermillon naturel, appliqués sur une couche de préparation en plâtre, mélangé avec de la chaux, qui a migré et a recristallisé sur la surface polychrome du buste. Ce procédé a été aidé pour les changements subis après son déterrement. On n'a pas trouvé d'anachronisme en ce qui concerne les pigments et la couche de préparation. Aucun élément ne permet, de déduire que la sculpture puisse être un faux moderne.

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Copyright information

© RILEM 2004

Authors and Affiliations

  • M. P. Luxán
    • 1
  • J. L. Prada
    • 2
  • F. Dorrego
    • 1
  1. 1.Institute of Construction Sciences. E. Torroja (CSIC)MadridSpain
  2. 2.Escola Superior Conservació i RestauracióBarcelonaSpain

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