Analytical and Bioanalytical Chemistry

, Volume 379, Issue 4, pp 674–683 | Cite as

Micro-Raman analysis of coloured lithographs

  • K. CastroEmail author
  • P. Vandenabeele
  • M. D. Rodríguez-Laso
  • L. Moens
  • J. M. Madariaga
Original Paper


Raman micro-spectroscopy was chosen for analysis and identification of the pigments present in four nineteenth-century hand-coloured lithographs, as this technique has several advantages over others for this purpose. The possibility of performing completely non-destructive analysis without any sampling is probably one of its most favourable qualities for art analysis. Raman spectroscopy can also be used to determine some pigments that cannot be detected using FTIR, such as vermilion, carbon blacks, cadmium pigments, etc. Among others, Prussian blue, ultramarine blue, carbon black, chrome yellow, yellow ochre, red lead, red iron oxide, burnt Sienna, indigo blue, chrome orange, phthalocyanine green, and some other organic pigments, were determined in the specimens. The results obtained have led to doubts about the age of the lithographs.


Raman Microscopy Lithographs Pigments Becquet freres Forgery 



This work was partially funded by the project UPV/14590/2002. K. Castro is grateful to the Spanish Government (MECD) for a pre-doctoral fellowship. P. Vandenabeele acknowledges the Fund for Scientific Research—Flanders (FWO-Vlaaderen) for his post-doctoral fellowship. The authors also thank the painter “Txupi” Sanz for letting them analyse the lithographs.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2004

Authors and Affiliations

  • K. Castro
    • 1
    Email author
  • P. Vandenabeele
    • 2
  • M. D. Rodríguez-Laso
    • 3
  • L. Moens
    • 2
  • J. M. Madariaga
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Analytical ChemistryUniversity of the Basque CountryBilbaoSpain
  2. 2.Laboratory of Analytical ChemistryGhent UniversityGhentBelgium
  3. 3.Department of PaintingUniversity of the Basque CountryBilbaoSpain

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