Just published: A. Cosentino “Effects of Different Binders on Technical Photography and Infrared Reflectography of 54 Historical Pigments” International Journal of Conservation Science, 6 (3), 287-298, 2015.
Technical Photography (TP) is the collection of broadband spectral images in the range 360 – 1100 nm collected with a modified digital camera: visible (VIS), ultraviolet fluorescence (UVF), reflected ultraviolet (UVR), infrared (IR), infrared fluorescence (IRF) and infrared false color (IRFC). An InGaAs camera is sensitive to the 900-1700 nm range and provides infrared reflectography (IRR) images. It was previously shown that all these techniques used together allow a tentative identification of pigments laid with gum arabic. While the identification must be confirmed with analytical instruments, this flowchart method allows a fast and low-cost preliminary examination of polychrome works of art. This paper discusses the effects that other binders (egg tempera, linseed oil and fresco) can have on technical photos and on infrared reflectography images of 54 historical pigments. It is shown that only the UVF photos are considerably affected by these binders. The strong fluorescence emission of egg tempera and linseed oil dominate the UVF photos while the binders do not consistently affect the other technical photos, IR, IRF, IRFC and IRR. This study confirmed the validity of this comparative method for the tentative identification of pigments laid with the most common binders used on works of art.
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