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Analysis of artistic and historic painting layers and decorated glasses and glazes: technology, color, stability and conservation

Total activity: 10
Type of activity
Competitive project
Funding entity
Funding entity code
73.587,76 €
Start date
End date
Pintura, amarillo de plata, conservación, conservation, esmalte, glaze, grisaille, grisalla, luz sincrotrón, optical properties, paint, propiedades ópticas, resin, resina, silver yellow, smalt, stain glass, synchrotron radiation, vidriado, vitral
This project, to be realized by an intrinsically interdisciplinary group composed by scientists, historians and conservators, is devoted to the chemical and
micro-structural analysis of paint layers and decorated glass and glaze. The object is the determination of the specific techniques used in their
production, as well as, the transformations suffered. Considering that those decorative layers have mainly an aesthetic object, we will emphasise in the
determination of the optical properties (colour, shine, transparency, opacity). Both the paint layers and the glass and glaze decorations share a same
analytical problematic: they are formed by a succession of micrometric layers of heterogeneous composition, to original components other resulting from
aging and alteration are added. For this reason, a set of complementary high sensible non-destructive micro-analytical techniques are necessary for their
study. The actual aspect of those layers results from the procedure followed and the materials used in their production (technology), modified by the
transformations of the materials due to their intrinsic reactivity (aging), as well as, interaction with the environment (weathering).
The methodology followed in this study consists: firstly, an historical and archaeological, documentary study of the material and production processes
and techniques; secondly, selection, preparation and analyses of the materials; thirdly, determination and modelling of the optical properties, as well as,
of the transformations suffered by the materials; and, finally, the identification of the pathologies and the establishment of restoration and conservation
The study will produce information relevant to the Historical perspective (materials and techniques used in different times and geographical areas), to the
Museum conception (determination of the original appearance and the methods of production), as well as, to conservation issues.
The specific topics of study proposed here are, in the field of painting materials, the identification, stability and reactivity of the organic coatings applied to
protect the paint layers over wood background, as well as, varnishes applied over gold and silver foils and the boles over which the metal foils are fixed
in Baroque art works. In the field of decorated glazed ceramics the project is devoted to the introduction of decorated tin glazes in Islamic times in the
west Mediterranean and Al-Andalus; as well as, the evolution of the pigments in the Manises workshops (1300-1900).
Finally, concerning decorated glass, smalts, grisailles and yellow stains will be studied in 19th century pre-modernists and modernists stain glasses with
special emphasis in the identification of the materials used and its relation with the conservation state of the art works. The decorations of this period are
showing a remarkable deterioration and their stability and conservation has devoted some debate in Europe. The study is performed in collaboration with
an enterprise devoted to the restoration of stain glass, J.M.Bonet, with the object to understand the mechanisms responsible for the degradation and to
establish a protocol for their stabilisation and a deontology of restoration.
Adm. Estat
Plan Estatal de Investigación Científica y Técnica y de Innovación 2013-2016
Call year
Funcding program
Programa Estatal de I+D+i Orientada a los Retos de la Sociedad
Funding call
Retos de Investigación: Proyectos de I+D+i
Grant institution
Gobierno De España. Ministerio De Economía Y Competitividad, Mineco


Scientific and technological production

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