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The conservation team performed a number of cleaning and consolidation tests on the painting in order to evaluate the safest and most effective method of treatment
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Date: 2013-09-21
Began preliminary non-destructive analysis of pigments using X-ray Fluorescence (XRF) with the assistance of faculty and students from Villanova's Chemistry Department. Please refer to X-Ray Fluorescence section for additional detail. (Pictured here: Kristen Watts and Dr. Amanda Norbutus)
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Date: 2013-09-21
This sample was collected from the shot-silk robe of the woman holding the tambourine after removal of the degraded surface coating. The red-brown ground contains iron oxides, calcium, and alumino-silicates (Fe, Ca, Al, Si, O, Mg, Mn) while the paint layers appear to contain iron oxides (particularly green earth; Fe, Si, Mn, O) and lead white (Pb).<br/<br/><i>Top Left: Visible light/200x magnification; Top Right: BSE image/259x magnification; Bottom left and right: EDS elemental maps (Major Elements: Si, O, Ca, Al, Pb, Fe, K; Trace: Mg, Mn, Na, Ti)<i>
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Date: 2013-12-25
This sample was collected from the blue robe worn by the kneeling woman in the lower right corner before removal of the degraded surface coating. The red-brown ground contains iron oxides, calcium, and alumino-silicates (Fe, Ca, Al, Si, O, Mg, Mn) while the dark blue paint layer appears to contain an extremely pure grade of lapis lazuli (Al, Na, Si, O) followed by a thin layer of lapis mixed with lead white (Pb). In this particular sample the upper layer of the double ground is extremely thin and can only be detected in the EDS map for iron. A large red, iron oxide particle can also be seen in the lower left.<br/><br/><i>Top Left: Visible light/200x magnification; Top Right: BSE image/264x magnification; Bottom left and right: EDS elemental maps (Major Elements: Si, O, Ca, Al, Pb, Fe, K, Mg; Trace: Na)</i>
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Date: 2013-12-25
This sample was collected from a heavily overpainted back of the kneeling woman in the bottom right corner. The red-brown ground contains iron oxides, calcium, and alumino-silicates (Fe, Ca, Al, Si, O, Mg, Mn) while the uppermost layer of overpaint contains Zinc White (Zn), a pigment that was not available to artists until the 19th century. Spot analysis of red and yellow pigment particles mixed into the original lead-containing paint layers confirmed the presence of vermillion (Hg) and lead-antimonate yellow, most likely Naples Yellow (Pb, Sb). Top Left: Visible light/200x magnification;<br/><br/><i>Top Right: BSE image/302x magnification; Bottom left and right: EDS elemental maps (Major Elements: Pb, O, Si, Ca, Al, Zn, Fe; Trace: K, Mg, Mn, Hg, Sb)</i>
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Date: 2013-12-25
This sample was collected from the green-colored cushion on King Saul's throne before removal of the degraded surface coating. The red-brown ground contains iron oxides, calcium, and alumino-silicates (Fe, Ca, Al, Si, O, Mg, Mn); the upper ground layer contains more iron and manganese than the lower layer, indicating a higher concentration of earth colors/umbers in the second ground application. The presence of green earth particles was confirmed by the detection of high levels of silica (Si) and moderate to low levels of iron (Fe).<br/><br/><i>Top Left: Ultraviolet light/200x magnification; Top Right: BSE image/217x magnification; Bottom left and right: EDS elemental maps (Major Elements: Si, O, Ca, Al, Fe; Trace: K, S, Mg, Mn)</i>
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Date: 2013-12-25
This sample was collected from Abner's yellow ptergues (leather straps worn at the waist by Roman soldiers). The red-brown ground contains iron oxides, calcium, and alumino-silicates (Fe, Ca, Al, Si, O, Mg, Mn); the upper ground layer contains more iron and manganese than the lower layer, indicating a higher concentration of earth colors/umbers in the second ground application. The upper paint layers contain lead white (Pb) and yellow iron oxides (Fe, O). Top Left: Visible light/200x magnification;<br/><br/><i>Top Right: BSE image/399x magnification; Bottom left and right: EDS elemental maps (Major Elements: Si, O, Ca, Pb, Al, Fe; Trace: K, S, Mg, Mn)</i>
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Date: 2013-12-25
This sample was collected from the green-colored mountains in the distant background after removal of the overpaint and degraded surface coating. The red-brown ground contains iron oxides, calcium, and alumino-silicates (Fe, Ca, Al, Si, O, Mg, Mn). The paint layer contains lead white (Pb), earth colors (Fe, Si, O), and lead-antimonate (Pb, Sb). The presence of green earth particles was confirmed by the detection of high levels of silica (Si) and moderate to low levels of iron (Fe). A few yellow particles were found to contain lead and antimony (Pb, Sb) pointing towards the presence of Naples Yellow, however a large whitish agglomerate appeared to contain lead, antimony, and high levels of silica (Si). It may be that a range of lead-antimonate particles were used, with some possessing more of a "glassier" nature than others. Colored glass has been found in Italian Renaissance and Baroque paintings.<br/><br/><i>Top Left: Visible light/200x magnification; Top Right: BSE image/2124x magnification; Bottom left and right: EDS elemental maps (Major Elements: Si, O, Pb, Al, Ca, Fe; Trace: K, Mg, Sb)</i>
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Date: 2013-12-25
The red-brown ground contains iron oxides, calcium, and alumino-silicates (Fe, Ca, Al, Si, O, Mg, Mn). Multiple paint layers were found to contain lead-antimonate yellow (Pb, Sb), lead white (Pb), and earth colors (Fe, Si, O, Mn). The presence of phosphorous in the black paint layer indicates the presence of bone black (P). Images obtained using x-radiography confirmed that these colored paint layers beneath the black most likely correspond to a hidden figure that is present beneath the shield. Top Left: Visible light/200x magnification;<br/><br/><i>Top Right: BSE image/997x magnification; Bottom left and right: EDS elemental maps (Major Elements: Si, O, Pb, Al, Ca, Fe; Trace: K, Mg, Sb)</i>
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Date: 2013-12-25
This sample was collected from the dark helmet of a soldier in the background before removal of the degraded surface coating. The red-brown ground can be seen followed by two layers; the thin, dark black paint layer corresponds to the soldier's helmet while the top layer is the degraded surface coating (visible light/100x magnification).
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Date: 2014-01-16
This sample was collected from a heavily overpainted section of the blue robe worn by the kneeling woman in the lower right corner before removal of the overpaint and degraded surface coating. The red-brown ground can be seen as well as multiple layers of blue paint containing ultramarine (lapis lazuli) with small additions of lead white (visible light/100x magnification). These multiple layers suggest that several compositional changes were made to this area of the drapery while the uppermost layer was later confirmed to unoriginal restoration paint.
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Date: 2014-01-16
This sample was collected from the pink robe of the kneeling woman in the lower right corner before removal of the discolored overpaint. The red-brown ground can be seen as well as four layers of paint, suggesting that multiple compositional changes were made to this area of the drapery. The lower red layer is rich in red lake with additions of vermillion, followed by two lighter layers containing, lead white, vermillion, naples yellow, and earth colors including a single particle of green earth (visible light/100x magnification). The uppermost paint layer was later confirmed to be unoriginal restoration paint.
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Date: 2014-01-16
This sample was collected from the pink section of the robe worn by the kneeling woman before removal of the overpaint. The red-brown ground can be seen as well as two to three layers of paint; the light yellow paint may be the underlying flesh paint of the woman's back while the uppermost pink paint corresponds to the drapery (visible light/100x magnification). The uppermost paint layer was later confirmed to be unoriginal restoration paint.
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Date: 2014-01-16
This sample was collected from the yellow belt of the kneeling woman after removal of the overpaint and degraded varnish. The red-brown ground can be seen as well as several layers of paint; the black layer may represent dark paint used to delineate contours of the figures before successive paint layers were applied (visible light/100x magnification).
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Date: 2014-01-16
This sample was collected from the yellow belt of the kneeling woman after removal of the overpaint and degraded varnish. The red-brown ground can be seen as well as two layers of paint; the yellow belt in this instance was painted directly over a portion of the underlying blue robe (visible light/100x magnification).
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Date: 2014-01-16
This sample was collected from the blue robe of the kneeling woman after a cleaning test was performed to remove the degraded surface coating. The red-brown ground can be seen as well as two to three layers of blue paint containing ultramarine (lapis lazuli) with small additions of lead white (visible light/100x magnification).
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Date: 2014-01-16
This sample was collected from the pink section of the robe worn by the kneeling woman after removal of the degraded surface coating. The red-brown ground can be seen as well as two layers of red/pink paint containing vermillion, red lake, and lead white (visible light/100x magnification).
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Date: 2014-01-16
This sample was collected from the heavily overpainted face of the child in the bottom right corner. The red-brown ground can be seen as well as scattered remaining fragments of the original flesh paint. The thin, uppermost glaze was later confirmed to be unoriginal restoration paint (visible light/100x magnification).
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Date: 2014-01-16
This sample was collected from the pink section of the robe worn by the kneeling woman after removal of the degraded surface coating. The red-brown ground can be seen as well as two to three layers of paint; the light yellow paint may be the underlying flesh paint of the woman's back while the uppermost pink paint corresponds to the drapery (visible light/100x magnification).
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Date: 2014-01-16
This sample was collected from the elbow of the kneeling woman before removal of the discolored overpaint. The red-brown ground can be seen as well as three layers of paint; the two paint layers directly atop the ground consist of lead white, vermillion, red lake, and naples yellow and represent the original flesh tones, while the uppermost layers was later confirmed to be unoriginal restoration paint (visible light/100x magnification).
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Date: 2014-01-16