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Clay Minerals in European Painting of the Mediaeval and Baroque Periods

1
Institute of Inorganic Chemistry of the Czech Academy of Sciences, v.v.i., Academic Materials Research Laboratory of Painted Artworks (ALMA Laboratory), 1001 Husinec-Řež, 250 68 Řež, Czech Republic
2
Academy of Fine Arts in Prague, Academic Materials Research Laboratory of Painted Artworks (ALMA Laboratory), U Akademie 4, 170 22 Prague 7, Czech Republic
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Minerals 2020, 10(3), 255; https://doi.org/10.3390/min10030255
Received: 26 January 2020 / Revised: 25 February 2020 / Accepted: 4 March 2020 / Published: 11 March 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Historical Mineral Pigments)
Clay-based pigments are among the most traditional. Unlike other mineral pigments, they have never been fully replaced by synthetic analogues and are still used in painting today. Since their analysis requires a specific approach, detailed distinction of clay pigments has never been a part of routine chemical-technological research in fine arts—regardless of a great potential of clay minerals for determining regional provenance of the material. This review article maps and summarizes research on clay pigments in historical paintings that has been systematically pursued by authors since the beginning of this millennium. This rallying and interconnection of knowledge was an opportunity for a new reflection on the common aspects of these research projects, either methodological or interdisciplinary, since these findings are closely related to art-historical evaluation of artworks. It offers a comprehensive insight into the microanalysis of clay pigments with using powder X-ray micro-diffraction and complementary methods. Significant new findings come, for example, from research on the Italian Baroque. It becomes clear that cheap availability of raw material, pottery clays, could have played an important role in the change in painting technology at the turn of the 16th and 17th centuries. View Full-Text
Keywords: earth pigments; ochres; clay-based grounds; powder X-ray microdiffraction; provenance studies; pottery clay; kaolin; painting; gilding earth pigments; ochres; clay-based grounds; powder X-ray microdiffraction; provenance studies; pottery clay; kaolin; painting; gilding
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MDPI and ACS Style

Hradil, D.; Hradilová, J.; Bezdička, P. Clay Minerals in European Painting of the Mediaeval and Baroque Periods. Minerals 2020, 10, 255.

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