Cesareo, Roberto and Castellano, Alfredo and Buccolieri, Giovanni and Quarta, Stefano and Marabelli, Maurizio (2004) Giotto in the Chapel of the Scrovegni: EDXRF analysis of the golden haloes with portable equipment. X-Ray Spectrometry, Vol. 33 (4), p. 289-293. eISSN 1097-4539. Article.
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Energy-dispersive x-ray fluorescence (EDXRF) analysis is particularly suited to analyse paintings, because it does not significantly damage the sample and allows the measurement of several elements in a single measurement. The use of portable equipment allows a completely non-destructive analysis, although the interpretation of the measured spectra requires a more accurate approach. EDXRF analysis of paintings generally gives the following information: identification of the elements, and therefore pigments, employed by the artist; possible presence of elements on the surface (sulphur, chlorine) due to pollution effects; identification of previous restoration areas, through the presence of 'modern' elements, such as titanium, zinc, cadmium and others. Recently, the famous Chapel of the Scrovegni, painted by Giotto in Padua in 1303-05, was analysed in detail to obtain the above information and, more specifically, to analyse the golden haloes. In this paper the measurement of sulphur on the surface of the frescoes is described, together with the composition of the golden haloes.
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