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Scientific studies for the restoration of a wood painting of the Galleria Interdisciplinare Regionale della Sicilia—Palazzo Mirto di Palermo

  • Autori: Pellerito, C.; Di Marco, A.; DI NATALE, M.; Pignataro, B.; Scopelliti, M.; Sebastianelli, M.
  • Anno di pubblicazione: 2016
  • Tipologia: Articolo in rivista (Articolo in rivista)
  • OA Link:


The Ritratto muliebre, referring to Venus, is a panel painting, oil on wood, attributed to unknown artist and probably dated to the second half of 16th century, today conserved in the Galleria Interdisciplinare Regionale della Sicilia—Palazzo Mirto of Palermo. The aim of this research was to assess the techniques used to decorate the wooden painting and to verify the state of conservation of the artwork's materials but also to identify the previous treatments. This study was the essential condition to plane and perform the correct restoration. For this reason, an integrated analytical approach based on the use of non-invasive and micro-invasive techniques was used, with the aim to obtain a characterization of the wooden panel, to elucidate the painting technique, including the stratigraphic sequence of the pigments and the organic binders, the state of preservation, the possible decay processes, and the possible additions made during previous restorations. In addition to the imaging diagnostics techniques and the microchemical spot tests, micro-fragments of the painted material, original or not, were analyzed by several analytical techniques: optical microscopy, scanning electron microscopy (SEM-EDAX), FT-IR spectroscopy, and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS). The results of all analyses revealed that the portrait is a small panel painting made by an unknown painter in the second half of 16th century, with a traditional painting technique: a single wooden panel, two preparatory layers (“ammannitura”), a sort of priming (“imprimitura”), an underdrawing, a paint layer composed of oil as binding medium and pigments common in 16th century.