Non-invasive Investigations of Paintings by Portable Instrumentation: The MOLAB Experience
The in situ non invasive methods have experienced a significant development in the last decade because they meet specific needs of analytical chemistry in the field of cultural heritage where artworks are rarely moved from their locations, sampling is rarely permitted, and analytes are a wide range of inorganic, organic and organometallic substances in complex and precious matrices. MOLAB, a unique collection of integrated mobile instruments, has greatly contributed to demonstrate that it is now possible to obtain satisfactory results in the study of a variety of heritage objects without sampling or moving them to a laboratory. The current chapter describes an account of these results with particular attention to ancient, modern, and contemporary paintings. Several non-invasive methods by portable equipment, including XRF, mid- and near-FTIR, UV–Vis and Raman spectroscopy, as well as XRD, are discussed in detail along with their impact on our understanding of painting materials and execution techniques. Examples of successful applications are given, both for point analyses and hyperspectral imaging approaches. Lines for future perspectives are finally drawn.
KeywordsX-ray fluorescence Raman spectroscopy FTIR UV–Vis spectroscopy Pigment Binding media
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