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  • Author: Viorica Vasilache x
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Silvea Pruteanu, Ion Sandu and Viorica Vasilache

Abstract

In order to restore the original aesthetic aspect, to improve the state of the age patina and of the gold halo, similar processes are required. The cleaning process is one of the most important aspects for an artwork and is considering a series of deteriorations and degradations, like dirt deposits (clogged or unclogged) opalescent varnish, colors blackening, burns, blisters, gaps (missing ground, painting layer or varnish). This step in the restoration process includes physical and mechanical proceedings like dusting (with a vacuum), brushing (with a brush), scraping (with a scalpel), removal or polishing etc. The scalpel and the milling process are rough unconventional means that are used only in exceptional cases. The wet cleaning of dirt includes classic washing processes, with water or other complex systems of organic solvents (emollients, surface additives or surfactants, mixtures of solvents). Cleaning the clogged dirt deposits with unconventional methods can be done by means of electronic laser, ion and thermal exchange or ultrasounds. Laser cleaning is often used in removing unwanted dirt deposits from different layers of the art piece. A lot of attention goes towards the controlled elimination of the exterior protection layer (varnish), which can be photo- degraded and oxidized by atmospheric exposure. Visual analysis, with enlargers (OM, SEM, AFM etc.) combined with transmission or penetration techniques (radiography, endoscopy, X-ray diffraction etc.) provides information on the superficial structures of the art work. In order to determine the modifications of the desiccant oils, SEM was used to observed the changes in the morphology of the oil painting layers. Gas chromatography/mass spectrometry (GC/MS) can be used to detrmine detergent residues on the painting layer.

Open access

Raluca A. Cristache, Ion Sandu, Viorica Vasilache and Oana Cristache

Abstract

This study presents a physicochemical analysis on the orthodox icon “The grieving Mother” from XIXth century. The icon is made by an anonymus painter, in tempera pigments, on a lime wood support, Tillia cordata. God’s Mother is represented from one side, only the bust, with the head down, framed by a white border. The predominant colors of the icon are ultramarine blue, ocher, red-brown, with silver leaf. The edges of the panel were painted with tempera pigments as the border. On the right edge an inscription in blue ink, can be seen, but is unreadable. The painting layer has gaps, fissures, detachments, dirt, degraded and scaly varnish. The panel is made from a single board, transversally cut, without crossbeams. The study is based on the identification of some archeometric characteristics of the wood panel and of the pigment layer. To determin painting materials and the conservation state, Fourier Transform Infrared Spectroscopy (Micro-FTIR) and Scanning Electron Microscope coupled with Energy Dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (SEM-EDX) were employed. Using this methods we identify the pigments used and the state of degradation of the panel. The FTIR spectrum analysis showed that the pigment layer contains schellac varnish, ultramarine blue and dust, a conclusion supported by SEM-EDX analysis.