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Non-Invasive Investigation of Pigments of Wall Painting in S. Maria Delle Palate di Tusa (Messina, Italy)

  • Autori: Mollica Nardo, V.; Renda, V.; Bonanno, S.; Parrotta, F.; Anastasio, G.; Caponetti, E.; Saladino, M.; Vasi, C.; Ponterio, R.
  • Anno di pubblicazione: 2019
  • Tipologia: Articolo in rivista
  • OA Link:


The characterization of materials used in the archaeological field needs an experimental approach in order to avoid the destruction or perturbation of artworks. In order to afford this purpose, a multi-analytical spectroscopic approach is regularly used. We combined non-invasive analysis by using handheld spectroscopic instrumentations (mainly XRF and Raman spectrometers) in order to characterize the wall painting preserved in the church of S. Maria delle Palate at Halaesa Arconidea archeological site (Tusa, Messina, Italy). The aim of the work is the characterization of the nature of pigments used for the realization of the wall painting. The wall painting, probably representing St. Francis in the act of receiving the stigmata, has been subject to cleaning and restoration. Thanks to use of in situ measurement, we have identified hematite and goethite for the red and yellow respectively, and lazurite for the blue. In addition, some relevant information about the black pigment, the technique used for the realization and the conservation state were also obtained. The results obtained during the diagnostic campaign have been a support for the work of restorers. For the first time, the wall painting has been studied, increasing the knowledge of Halaesa Arconidea archaeological site.