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Application of a Portable XRF Spectrometer for In-Situ and Nondestructive Investigation of Pigments in Two 15th Century Icons

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Document pages: 13 pages

Abstract: A simple portable X-Ray Fluorescence(XRF) spectrometer was successfully used for in-situ and nondestructive identification of the painting materialsin two 15th century icons from the Onufri Museum in Beart, Albania. The spectrometer is based on a low power X-ray tube,a thermoelectrically cooled Si PIN detector and the spectrum acquisitionsystem. It was assembled and adjusted at our laboratory for the investigationof the icons. A small number of pigments were clearly identifiedby X-Ray Fluorescence (XRF) measurements in both icons. This includes Lead white for the white color, gold and yellowochre for the yellow color, red lead, cinnabar and red ochre for the red color,as well as cooper based pigments for the green color. At the same time, theinvestigation raised some new questions that need further investigations by the use of additional analytical techniques. Theresults show that in both icons are used similar pigments, which are inaccordance with the Byzantine icon painting tradition.

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