Volume 44, Issue 4 p. 296-304
Research article

Multi-analytical non-invasive study of modern yellow paints from postwar Italian paintings from the International Gallery of Modern Art Cà Pesaro, Venice

Francesca Caterina Izzo

Corresponding Author

Francesca Caterina Izzo

Department of Environmental Sciences, Informatics and Statistics, Ca' Foscari University of Venice, Via Torino 155/b, Venice, Italy

Correspondence to: Francesca Caterina Izzo, Department of Environmental Sciences, Informatics and Statistics, Ca' Foscari University of Venice, Via Torino 155/b, Venice, Italy. E-mail: [email protected]Search for more papers by this author
Valentina Capogrosso

Valentina Capogrosso

Dipartimento di Fisica, Politecnico di Milano, Piazza Leonardo da Vinci 32, Milan, Italy

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Michele Gironda

Michele Gironda

XGLab S.R.L., Spinoff del Politecnico di Milano, Via Francesco D'Ovidio 3, Milan, Italy

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Roberto Alberti

Roberto Alberti

XGLab S.R.L., Spinoff del Politecnico di Milano, Via Francesco D'Ovidio 3, Milan, Italy

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Chiara Mazzei

Chiara Mazzei

Department of Environmental Sciences, Informatics and Statistics, Ca' Foscari University of Venice, Via Torino 155/b, Venice, Italy

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Luca Nodari

Luca Nodari

Istituto per l'Energetica e le Interfasi (IENI), National Research Council (CNR), Corso Stati Uniti 4, Padua, Italy

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Arianna Gambirasi

Arianna Gambirasi

Istituto per l'Energetica e le Interfasi (IENI), National Research Council (CNR), Corso Stati Uniti 4, Padua, Italy

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Elisabetta Zendri

Elisabetta Zendri

Department of Environmental Sciences, Informatics and Statistics, Ca' Foscari University of Venice, Via Torino 155/b, Venice, Italy

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Austin Nevin

Austin Nevin

Dipartimento di Fisica, Politecnico di Milano, Istituto di Fotonica e Nanotecnologie (IFN), National Research Council (CNR), Piazza Leonardo da Vinci 32, Milano, Italy

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First published: 18 May 2015
Citations: 19

Presented at the European Conference on X-Ray Spectrometry, Bologna, Italy, 15–20 June 2014.

Abstract

We present a multi-analytical non-invasive approach for the characterisation of yellow paints used in three paintings from the International Gallery of Modern Art Cà Pesaro, Venice. The paintings selected for this study were executed in oil-based media between 1940 and 1960, they are unvarnished and have large monochromatic yellow areas. We focus on the identification of yellow pigments with a combined approach based on non-invasive portable X-ray Fluorescence spectrometry, complemented with VIS reflectance, remote-Fourier Transform Infrared and Raman spectroscopies. Different yellow pigments including Chrome yellow Naples Yellow and Cadmium-based yellow were identified. Their identification is of fundamental importance because several modern inorganic yellow pigments (in particular chrome and cadmium-based pigments) are known to exhibit peculiar degradation patterns, leading to noteworthy aesthetic changes in paint such as darkening and fading. This work highlights the suitability of non-destructive techniques for the characterisation of modern paints and the utility of an integrated approach to obtain useful information for preventive conservation. Results demonstrate the need to complement elemental data acquired using portable X-ray Fluorescence with suitable complementary molecular spectroscopic techniques. Copyright © 2015 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.