Download our just published study on the application of technical photography for the examination and documentation of wall paintings.
Technical Photography for mural paintings: the newly discovered frescoes in Aci Sant’Antonio (Sicily, Italy).
CHSOS used technical photography for the examination and documentation of wall paintings in Sicily. Visible, ultraviolet and infrared photography coupled with panoramic and mosaic stitching methods have been implemented on a cycle of 18th century frescoes, depicting the last days of Christ on earth which were recently discovered in Aci Sant’Antonio (Sicily). The paintings survive along the corners of an originally square chapel that was altered in the early 20th century, acquiring the current octagonal plan.
This study illustrates the methodological challenges that were posed for the examination of these mural paintings since the access was limited by the 20th century remodeling.
Raking light photography was used to reveal the paintings’ state of conservation, details of the plaster work and painting techniques. Ultraviolet fluorescence (UVF) and Infrared false color photography (IRFC) were also performed to evaluate areas of interest for further analytical and diagnostic studies.
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The first striking feature is the lack of giornate. Only pontate are clearly seen in all the scenes thus indicating that in the larger paint areas, a mixed of fresco and secco technique would have been used. The Crucifix chapel has been one of CHSOS field projects for the training programs since 2013. This documentation work has been completed during the training program delivered in October 2014 for the Hercules Laboratory (Portugal). Indeed, CHSOS enjoyed the collaboration with Milene Gil, a conservator specialized in mural paintings, and Mauel Ribeiro, a photographer specialized in historical architecture. Their respective expertise was an excellent addition to the technical skills provided by the CHSOS training programs. The paper can be downloaded from Conservar Património: A. Cosentino, M. Gil, M. Ribeiro, R. Di Mauro “Technical Photography for mural paintings: the newly discovered frescoes in Aci Sant’Antonio (Sicily, Italy)” Conservar Património 20, 23-33, 2014.
CHSOS will discuss Technical Photography and multispectral imaging in the upcoming Colours 2015 conference.
Hope to meet you there! CHSOS will give a talk about “Innovation and Sustainability in Technical Art Examination and Color Documentation”.