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Inverse technology of glazes, enamels and painting layers for the recovery of Historic and Artistic Heritage

Total activity: 3
Type of activity
Competitive project
Funding entity
Funding entity code
90.750,00 €
Start date
End date
IBA, Painting, Pintura, conservacion, conservation, enamel, esmalte, glass, glaze, luz sincrotrón, micro-IR, micro-XRD, resina, sincrotron light, technology, tecnologia, vidriado
In this Project we intend to analyse materials of historical-artistic interest with the object of recovering the knowledge about the materials
and methods of production. We propose a methodology that enable the recovery of the knowledge (Invers Technology) and helps
ascertaining the best procedures for the adequate conservation, restoration or replicate in case the material should be substituted.
Therefore, this work directly engages the recovery of both our tangible and intangible heritage. Due to the largely transversal and
interdisciplinary character of the project proposed, the research team is constituted by historians, conservators, curators and scientists of
diverse areas: physics, chemistry, geology and mathematics.
We intend the study of pictorial layers, glaze and decorated ceramic and stain glass enamels and other decorative layers. The study of
those layers poses common specific problems from the analytical point of view because they shear some characteristics: they are thin
layers (up to a few dozens of micrometres thick), formed by various materials, including a vitreous phase incorporating metallic ions as
colouring agents, as well as micro- and nano-particles and alteration and reaction compounds. The research group has a long lasting
experience in the development of optimal methods for sample preparation, microscopic and microspectroscopic analytical techniques (MO,
SEM-EDS, TEM, LA-ICPMS, UV-Vis, IR, Raman) as well as novel non-destructive and non-invasive microanalytical techniques using large
the synchrotron light world-class (micro-XRD, EXAFS, micro-IR, micro-XRF) and ion beam (IBA) facilities.
The object of our study is not only to determine the nature of the materials but to obtain information about the technology involved, origin of
the materials used and the link with other contemporary industries and, in such a way, recover the scientific and technological knowledge
We intend the study of a collection of Romanesque Wall paintings detached and kept in the collection of the Museo Nacional de Arte de
Cataluña, the varnishes and other organic coatings applied to give colour and protect the metallic foils on a collection of Baroque
altarpieces from the cathedral of Tortosa, the aging processes of resins other than Pinus which have already been studied in the previous
project. With regard to glaze ceramics, the object of study are the ceramics from al-Andalus during the emiral and caliphal (s. IX-XIII)
periods, including plain and decorated glaze and tin glaze ceramics and the lustre wares with the object of trace the introduction and
evolution of the technique of this kind of ceramic in al-Andalus and its relationship with other regions. We also plan to study the cobalt blue
decorations from XIII to XVIII centuries, in order to determine the nature of the original pigments, the transformations suffered during firing
and the transfer of products and techniques among regions. Finally, we also propose to study the smalts and other decorative layers in the
Modernist stain-glass from the city of Barcelona which has to be preserved, and has a great artistic value and a high social-economical
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


  • Salvado Cabre, Nativitat  (scientific coordinator)
  • Pradell Cara, Trinitat  (scientific coordinator)
  • Buti Papiol, Salvador  (researcher)
  • Molera Marimon, Judit  (researcher)
  • Corbera Subirana, Montserrat  (researcher)
  • Coll Conesa, Jaume  (researcher)
  • Clemente Martínez, Carme  (researcher)
  • Salinas Pleguezuelo, Elena  (researcher)
  • Molina Giralt, Gloria  (researcher)
  • Tite, Michael S.  (researcher)

Scientific and technological production

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