For these analyses, we used a portable system of X-ray fluorescence, which is constituted of an Amptek® X-ray tube, with a silver filament (voltage 30 kV and a 5 mA current), and a Si-Drift Amptek® detector. During the measurements the XRF system is positioned very close to the work without touching it, nor causing any damage.
The pigments used in the paints were characterized in relation to their main elements, identifyed in each color, in each painting.
Parts analysed by XRF:
|Spectra||Measurement Position - detail|
|121002ac||P1 - red pigment of the chest|
|121002ad||P2 - brown pigment close to the chest|
|121002ae||P3 - beige pigment on the arm|
|121002af||P4 - red pigment of the neck|
|121002ag||P5 - black pigment close to the neck|
|121002ah||P6 - black pigment|
|121002ai||P7 - white pigment|
|121002aj||P8 - green pigment|
|121002ak||P9 - green+white+ black pigment|
|121002al||P10 - blue pigment close to the elbow|
|121002am||P11 - blue pigment close to the thigh|
|121002an||P12 - red pigment of the lower part of the leg|
|121002ao||P13 - restoration black pigment on lower corner|
|121002ap||P14 - white pigment without lacquer|
Scientific analyses of art objects and cultural heritage realized through physical and chemical methods are of great interest to restorers, conservators, archaelogists, historians, etc. They supply information on the process of making, used pigments, state of conservation and other about such objects. This information helps to evaluate the choice of treatment in the process of conservation and restoration, and in some cases, it provides data so as to identify the historical period and forgeries.
Non-destructive analyses, for which there is no need of the extraction of a sample, are often employed in the study of art objects and cultural heritage for their priceless value.
In the case of easel paintings, scientific analyses allow to determine the chemical compounds of the elements present in the various pigments, and to identify retouches and interventions undertaken after the work was finished.
Here, we present the results obtained by the X-ray fluorescence analysis of the work " Figure" by painter Mario Sironi.