03 April 2010

Article: visible spectrum imaging for pigment identification (2002)

Title: The use of multi-channel visible spectrum imaging for pigment identification
Authors: Roy S. Berns and Francisco H. Imai
Reference: 13TH Triennial Meeting Rio de Janeiro Preprints, ICOM Committee for Conservation, 2002
Pages: 217-222
Download: http://www.art-si.org/... (pdf, 2.27 Mb)

Visible reflectance spectrophotometry is a valuable tool in art conservation. In particular, the spectral data can be used to evaluate potential pigment combinations for inpainting to insure metamerism is minimized. This is a critical criterion because of the wide range of museum lighting and observers, including imaging devices. Recently, a new method of pigment selection for inpainting was developed that successfully minimizes metamerism. Normally, small-aperture spectrophotometers are used. An experiment was performed to test whether this technique could be used with direct digital capture of artwork. Multi-filter colour images were used to estimate spectral reflectance factor. The accuracy of the spectral estimation depended on the spectral properties of the system calibration target. The new method of pigment selection was able to correctly identify pigments from the estimated spectra in many cases. The reported results focus on blue pigments, often a cause of significant metamerism when poorly matched.

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