Next Article in Journal
Structural Study of Sulfur-Added Carbon Nanohorns
Next Article in Special Issue
Deep Eutectic Solvents (DESs): Preliminary Results for Their Use Such as Biocides in the Building Cultural Heritage
Previous Article in Journal
Structure-Controlled Porous Cordierite Ceramics with High Solid Content Prepared by Pickering Emulsion Technique Using Sucrose as a Porogen
Article

Preliminary Study of the Mural Paintings of Sotterra Church in Paola (Cosenza, Italy)

1
Department of Biology, Ecology and Earth Sciences (DiBEST), University of Calabria, Arcavacata di Rende, 87036 Cosenza, CS, Italy
2
S.T.Art-Test, 93015 Niscemi, CL, Italy
3
Department of Conservation & Restoration of Cultural Properties, Faculty of Fine Arts, Ankara Hacı Bayram Veli University, Gölbaşı, 06570 Ankara, Turkey
4
Department of Earth and Sea Sciences, University of Palermo, 90123 Palermo, PA, Italy
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Angela Calia and Mariateresa Lettieri
Materials 2022, 15(9), 3411; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma15093411
Received: 11 April 2022 / Revised: 3 May 2022 / Accepted: 5 May 2022 / Published: 9 May 2022
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advanced Materials & Methods for Heritage & Archaeology)
A multi-analytical approach was employed to study wall paintings located in the Sotterra church at Paola, in the province of Cosenza, Italy. The site is an underground church (hence the name of Sotterra, which means “under the earth”) rediscovered in the second half of the 19th century, during the building works of the Madonna del Carmine church on the same area. This underground church preserves valuable mural paintings having different styles. The construction’s dating and overlapped modifications made until the site was abandoned is also debated. A wall painting, depicting “The Virgin” as part of the “Annunciation and the Archangel Gabriel” present on the opposite side of the apse, was selected and investigated using both in situ and laboratory-based analysis. Preliminarily, the non-destructive investigations involved several analytical techniques (IR imaging, UV-Induced Visible Fluorescence, and X-ray Fluorescence analyses) that provided mapping and characterization of pictorial layers and first data about deterioration phenomena. On the basis of this information, a more in-depth study was conducted on micro-fragments aimed at characterizing the stratigraphy and to identify the artist’s technique. Cross-sections were analysed using polarized optical microscopy and electron scanning microscopy coupled with energy-dispersive X-ray spectroscopy to obtain morphological and chemical information on the selected pictorial micro-fragments of the wall painting. The results allowed to characterize the pigments and provide better readability of the whole figure, revealing details that are not visible to the naked eye, important for future historical-artistic and conservative studies. The results represent the first step of a systematic archaeometric research aimed at supporting the ongoing historical-stylistic studies to distinguish the different building phases hypothesized for this religious site which remained buried for three centuries. View Full-Text
Keywords: Sotterra church; mural paintings; frescoes; non-destructive analyses; pigments; infrared imaging; stratigraphy Sotterra church; mural paintings; frescoes; non-destructive analyses; pigments; infrared imaging; stratigraphy
Show Figures

Figure 1

MDPI and ACS Style

Ricca, M.; Alberghina, M.F.; Houreh, N.D.; Koca, A.S.; Schiavone, S.; La Russa, M.F.; Randazzo, L.; Ruffolo, S.A. Preliminary Study of the Mural Paintings of Sotterra Church in Paola (Cosenza, Italy). Materials 2022, 15, 3411. https://doi.org/10.3390/ma15093411

AMA Style

Ricca M, Alberghina MF, Houreh ND, Koca AS, Schiavone S, La Russa MF, Randazzo L, Ruffolo SA. Preliminary Study of the Mural Paintings of Sotterra Church in Paola (Cosenza, Italy). Materials. 2022; 15(9):3411. https://doi.org/10.3390/ma15093411

Chicago/Turabian Style

Ricca, Michela, Maria F. Alberghina, Negin D. Houreh, Aybuke S. Koca, Salvatore Schiavone, Mauro F. La Russa, Luciana Randazzo, and Silvestro A. Ruffolo. 2022. "Preliminary Study of the Mural Paintings of Sotterra Church in Paola (Cosenza, Italy)" Materials 15, no. 9: 3411. https://doi.org/10.3390/ma15093411

Find Other Styles
Note that from the first issue of 2016, MDPI journals use article numbers instead of page numbers. See further details here.

Article Access Map by Country/Region

1
Back to TopTop