In this study, a multimethodological analysis involving optical and physical/chemical diagnostic techniques and 3D photogrammetric survey was successfully applied, for the first time, on the large oil on canvas St. Michael defeating Evil painting by Mattia Preti, located inside the Church of the Immaculate Conception of Sarria (Floriana) in Malta. Pigmenting agents, binder media, and raw materials were first characterized, both at elemental and molecular scales, through X-ray fluorescence spectroscopy (XRF), optical stereo microscopy (SM), scanning electron microscopy coupled with energy dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (SEM-EDX), Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FT-IR), and gas chromatography coupled with mass spectrometry (GC-MS). The main goal was to properly identify the execution technique of this famous painter, the artist’s palette, and possible nondocumented interventions. The 3D photogrammetric survey, on the other side, allowed us to noninvasively evaluate the extension of the areas that experienced restorations, and to properly map the domains of the different canvasses observed. The joints between canvasses suggested that the painting was folded and rolled up. In addition, the employment of a thermal camera gave evidence of the different consolidating material injection points used during the restoration to strengthen the painting. The obtained results offer useful information for the development of optimized restoration and conservation strategies to be applied and provide, at the same time, answers to open questions related to provenance and dating of the investigated artwork.

Multitechnique diagnostic analysis and 3D surveying prior to the restoration of St. Michael defeating Evil painting by Mattia Preti

Paladini G.;Crupi V.;Majolino D.;Venuti V.
2022-01-01

Abstract

In this study, a multimethodological analysis involving optical and physical/chemical diagnostic techniques and 3D photogrammetric survey was successfully applied, for the first time, on the large oil on canvas St. Michael defeating Evil painting by Mattia Preti, located inside the Church of the Immaculate Conception of Sarria (Floriana) in Malta. Pigmenting agents, binder media, and raw materials were first characterized, both at elemental and molecular scales, through X-ray fluorescence spectroscopy (XRF), optical stereo microscopy (SM), scanning electron microscopy coupled with energy dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (SEM-EDX), Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FT-IR), and gas chromatography coupled with mass spectrometry (GC-MS). The main goal was to properly identify the execution technique of this famous painter, the artist’s palette, and possible nondocumented interventions. The 3D photogrammetric survey, on the other side, allowed us to noninvasively evaluate the extension of the areas that experienced restorations, and to properly map the domains of the different canvasses observed. The joints between canvasses suggested that the painting was folded and rolled up. In addition, the employment of a thermal camera gave evidence of the different consolidating material injection points used during the restoration to strengthen the painting. The obtained results offer useful information for the development of optimized restoration and conservation strategies to be applied and provide, at the same time, answers to open questions related to provenance and dating of the investigated artwork.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11570/3233308
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