In situ study of modern synthetic materials and pigments in contemporary paintings by laser-induced fluorescence scanning

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Publication Type:

Journal Article


Valeria Spizzichino; Federico Angelini; Luisa Caneve; Francesco Colao; Rodolfo Corrias; Ludovica Ruggiero;


Studies in Conservation, Volume 60, Number S1, p.S178-S184 (2015)


Laser-induced fluorescence (LIF) has found, in the recent years, widespread application to the field of material study and characterization. In particular, LIF has been applied to the assessment of damage, biological growth, and the analysis of specific materials on various surfaces in cultural heritages. Only a few papers deal with the application of LIF to the study of modern synthetic materials (mostly plastics) and pigments, and the analysis of contemporary works of art. Preliminary laboratory measurements on a wide range of plastic and cellulose-based materials, solvents, resins, and varnishes have been performed for rapid material characterization during in situ measurement campaigns in cultural heritage, security, and forensic contexts. Four paintings by Gastone Novelli, in the National Gallery of Modern and Contemporary Art, Rome, have been investigated by a compact LIDAR fluorosensor scanning system developed at the Laboratory of Diagnostic and Metrology in the ENEA Centre of Frascati (UTAPRAD-DIM Laboratory) for LIF measurements. Results and the relative data processing have provided fluorescence images, false color images, and punctual spectral information. The comparison with data and spectra from purpose-built reference databases has enabled recognition of materials on the paintings, and provided information on their production.