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Spectroscopic Characterization of a Contemporary Indian Miniature Painting

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A case study on a contemporary Indian miniature was carried out through the application of different spectroscopic techniques. Painting support, pigments, and dyes were largely characterized by means of energy dispersive x-ray fluorescence and Raman microspectroscopy directly on the artwork. Regarding golden motifs and silvered areas, for which these techniques have not provided enough information, scanning electron microscopy coupled with energy dispersive x-ray spectroscopy was used as a complementary technique. The painting support was identified as the Bombyx mori silk. Among the colorant matters, several pigments were identified such as chrome yellow, lithopone, hematite, lamp black, mica-titania pearlescent pigment, and tin-based metallic silver, and dyes such as phthalocyanine blue and the recent synthetic pigment red PR9 naphthol AS. All this materials will provide evidence in the support of the contemporary production of the artwork for future studies.

Keywords: Cultural heritage; Indian miniature; Pigments; μ-EDXRF; μ-Raman

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: Faculdade de Belas-Artes da Universidade de Lisboa, Largo da Academia Nacional de Belas Artes, 1249-058 Lisboa, Portugal

Publication date: December 1, 2013

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