02 April 2010

Article: reflectography and thermography for paintings

Title: Integrated reflectography and thermography for wooden paintings diagnostics
Authors: Dario Ambrosini, Claudia Daffara, Roberta Di Biase, Domenica Paoletti, Luca Pezzati, Roberto Bellucci, Francesca Bettini
Reference: Journal of Cultural Heritage, vol. 11, n.º 2, 2010, pp. 196-204
DOI: 10.1016/j.culher.2009.05.001
Download: http://www.ino.it/... (pdf, 2.27 Mb)

The need of inspecting a masterpiece of fine art without affecting it led to develop non destructive methods of investigation. In the field of art conservation, several diagnostic techniques are being widely used to inspect works of art, giving different but complementary results. The present work deals with two of these methods, reflectography and thermography, both techniques examining objects in the infrared spectrum but in different wavelength bands. Their integrated data potentially provide a powerful tool for mapping hidden features and alterations of artworks. This was confirmed during the inspections of a 13th century panel painting under restoration at the Opificio delle Pietre Dure laboratories (Florence, Italy). A graphical user interface was also designed to aid operators in the field of conservation dealing with the results of the two IR methods. Many options such as image adjustment, comparison, overlaying and transparency variation, in addition to thermographic elaborations, have been made available to users. Imaging data integration provides a multi-layered and multi-spectral representation of the painting that yields a comprehensive diagnosis confirms the anomalies individuation and reduces the ambiguities of information coming from a single diagnostic method.

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