Applied Physics A

, Volume 105, Issue 3, pp 753–761 | Cite as

Reflective and photoacoustic infrared spectroscopic techniques in assessment of binding media in paintings

  • Tomasz ŁojewskiEmail author
  • Jacek Bagniuk
  • Andrzej Kołodziej
  • Joanna Łojewska
Open Access


This study proposes a method to estimate the lipid content in binding media in paintings that can be used at any laboratory equipped with an infrared spectrometer. The lipid content estimator, termed greasiness index (GI), is defined as a ratio of lipid ν(C=O) and protein amide I bands at 1743 and 1635 cm−1, respectively. Three Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) sampling techniques were evaluated for GI determination: reflective attenuated total reflection—ATR, specular reflection microscopy—μSR and photoacoustic—PAS. A set of model painting samples containing three tempera binding media (casein, egg, egg + oil), seven pigments and one varnish type were used in the study. Multivariate analysis was used to evaluate the resulting data. A good reproducibility of GI was obtained by ATR and PAS but not with μSR. The discriminative power of the technique is higher for unvarnished samples, but, generally, the GI estimator can be used for the categorisation of binding media in large populations of painting samples analysed with the same FTIR technique (sampling technique, detection, etc.).


Marker Band Painting Sample Binding Medium Varnish Layer Ammonium Carbonate Solution 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Tomasz Łojewski
    • 1
    Email author
  • Jacek Bagniuk
    • 1
  • Andrzej Kołodziej
    • 2
  • Joanna Łojewska
    • 1
  1. 1.Faculty of ChemistryJagiellonian UniversityKrakowPoland
  2. 2.Faculty of Civil EngineeringOpole University of TechnologyOpolePoland

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