Journal of Materials Science

, Volume 50, Issue 20, pp 6656–6667 | Cite as

Microbiological and compositional features of green stains in the glaze of the Portuguese “Great View of Lisbon” tile panel

  • Sandra Cabo VerdeEmail author
  • Telma Silva
  • Victoria Corregidor
  • Lurdes Esteves
  • Maria Isabel Dias
  • Virginia Souza-Egipsy
  • Carmen Ascaso
  • Jacek Wierzchos
  • Luis Santos
  • Maria Isabel Prudêncio
Original Paper


The “Great View of Lisbon” is one of the most remarkable blue-and-white Portuguese tile panels, which depicts the city before the tragic earthquake of 1755. This panel presents visible colored alteration in the glaze of tiles both from the exhibition and the depository of the Museu Nacional do Azulejo (Portugal). This work is a contribution to identify the origin of green stains in the glaze by using microbiological techniques, scanning electron microscopy with back-scattered electron imaging (SEM-BSE), Raman spectroscopy, and proton-induced X-ray emission (PIXE). The microbiological assays showed that the filamentous fungi were detected only at a frequency <10 % of the microbiota of tiles surface, and the microbial entities from the green stains cultures were identified as Aspergillus fumigatus by molecular biology techniques. However, no microorganisms or other biological elements were found by SEM-BSE in the green stains. Raman spectroscopy and PIXE results showed that the green stains appear to be related with the presence of chromium atoms in the outer part of the glaze. Eskolaite, a “green pigment” used before 1850 AD was clearly identified by Raman spectroscopy in the darker green stains. Nevertheless, no chromium oxide signatures were identified in the lighter green stains by Raman spectroscopy.


Raman Spectroscopy PIXE Cassiterite Green Pigment Biological Element 
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.



Work developed within the Project RADIART (PTDC/HIS-HEC/101756/2008) financed by the Portuguese Foundation for Science and Technology (FCT/MCTES). JW and CA are thankful for the support by Grant CGL2010-16004 from the Spanish Ministry of Science and Innovation. S. Cabo Verde and V. Corregidor acknowledge the program Ciência 2008 of FCT, Portugal. C2TN/IST authors gratefully acknowledge the FCT (the Portuguese Science and Technology Foundation) support through the UID/Multi/04349/2013 project.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sandra Cabo Verde
    • 1
    Email author
  • Telma Silva
    • 1
  • Victoria Corregidor
    • 2
  • Lurdes Esteves
    • 3
  • Maria Isabel Dias
    • 1
  • Virginia Souza-Egipsy
    • 4
  • Carmen Ascaso
    • 5
  • Jacek Wierzchos
    • 5
  • Luis Santos
    • 6
  • Maria Isabel Prudêncio
    • 1
  1. 1.Centro de Ciências e Tecnologias Nucleares (C2TN), Instituto Superior TécnicoUniversidade de LisboaBobadelaPortugal
  2. 2.IPFN, Instituto Superior Técnico, Campus Tecnológico e NuclearUniversidade de LisboaBobadelaPortugal
  3. 3.Museu Nacional do AzulejoLisbonPortugal
  4. 4.Instituto de Ciencias Agrarias, ICA-CSICMadridSpain
  5. 5.Museo Nacional Ciencias Naturales MNCN-CSICMadridSpain
  6. 6.Centro de Química Estrutural and Departmento de Engenharia Química, Instituto Superior TécnicoUniversidade de LisboaLisbonPortugal

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