Special Issue "Conservation Tools, Protocols and Treatments on Painted Surfaces, Metal Leaves and Finishes in Cultural Heritage"

A special issue of Coatings (ISSN 2079-6412).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 December 2021.

Special Issue Editor

Dr. Nervo Marco
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Fondazione Centro per la Conservazione ed il Restauro dei Beni Culturali “La Venaria Reale”, 10078 Venaria Reale TO, Italy
Interests: non-invasive analyses (radiographies and CT scans); environmental monitoring; software development

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Conservation of painted surfaces, metal leaves, and finishes requires a deep knowledge of both the materials themselves and the supports and the interaction phenomena occurring among them. Superficial treatments, operations, and materials adopted during the conservation intervention can modify the complex system of existing interactions. Therefore, it is fundamental to predict possible induced changes of the chemical-physical properties of the systems.

This Special Issue aims at contributing to the definition of the state-of-the-art in the approach to conservation problems of painted surfaces, metal leaves, and finishes.

In particular, the topic of interest includes but is not limited to:

  • Methodological approaches for the conservation treatments of the painted surfaces, metal leaves, and finishes;
  • Analytical tools and protocols for the validation of the treatment efficacy and recognizability;
  • Analytical tools for the characterization of surface materials and their decay processes;
  • New materials and treatments.

Dr. Nervo Marco
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Coatings is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1800 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • conservation treatments
  • chemical–physical properties
  • painted surfaces
  • metal leaves
  • finishes
  • validation of treatments
  • decay processes
  • analytical protocols

Published Papers (3 papers)

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Research

Open AccessEditor’s ChoiceArticle
Characterization and Identification of Varnishes on Copper Alloys by Means of UV Imaging and FTIR
Coatings 2021, 11(3), 298; https://doi.org/10.3390/coatings11030298 - 05 Mar 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 360
Abstract
The application of varnishes on the surface of metal objects has been a very common practice since antiquity, both for protective and aesthetic purposes. One specific case concerns the use of tinted varnishes on copper alloys in order to mimic gilding. This practice, [...] Read more.
The application of varnishes on the surface of metal objects has been a very common practice since antiquity, both for protective and aesthetic purposes. One specific case concerns the use of tinted varnishes on copper alloys in order to mimic gilding. This practice, especially flourishing in the 19th century for scientific instruments, decorative objects, and liturgical items, results in large museum collections of varnished copper alloys that need to be preserved. One of the main challenges for conservators and restorers deals with the identification of the varnishes through non-invasive and affordable analytical techniques. We hereby present the experimental methodology developed in the framework of the LacCA and VERILOR projects at the Haute École ARC of Neuchâtel for the identification of gold varnishes on brass. After extensive documentary research and analytical campaigns on varnished museum objects, various historic shellac-based varnishes were created and applied by different methods on a range of brass substrates with different finishes. The samples were then characterized by UV imaging and infrared spectroscopy before and after artificial ageing. The comparative study of these two techniques was performed for different thicknesses of the same varnish and for different shellac grades in order to implement an identification methodology based on simple non-invasive examination and analytical tools, which are accessible to conservators. Full article
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
Drying Oil and Natural Varnishes in Paintings: A Competition in the Metal Soap Formation
Coatings 2021, 11(2), 171; https://doi.org/10.3390/coatings11020171 - 31 Jan 2021
Viewed by 432
Abstract
Metal soaps formation is a well-known issue in oil paintings. Along the lifetime of the painting, carboxylic acids coming from drying oil (free fatty acids, acids from hydrolysis of triglycerides and from oxidation processes) can react with cations of some pigments (in particular, [...] Read more.
Metal soaps formation is a well-known issue in oil paintings. Along the lifetime of the painting, carboxylic acids coming from drying oil (free fatty acids, acids from hydrolysis of triglycerides and from oxidation processes) can react with cations of some pigments (in particular, smalt, lead white and zinc white) forming the related carboxylic salts. As observed by many authors, the formation of these carboxylates, with the tendency to migrate and to aggregate, not only modifies the behavior and the aspect of the paint film but also complicates the cleaning approach. In previous works we have demonstrated that a similar pigment reactivity is possible even in presence of natural resins (such as colophony, dammar, mastic, etc) historically used as final varnishes on paintings. In this case, in the reactions the terpenic acids, among the main components of the resins, are involved. In this work, the carboxylates formation kinetics has been studied starting from two representative acids (palmitic and abietic) of painting oils and natural varnishes. Successively, the reactivity of the palmitic acid with the potassium abietate and of the abietic acid with the potassium palmitate has been verified. This investigation aims at clarifying in which way terpenic acids can be involved in the metal soaps reactivity confirming that also surface varnishes may play a significant role in the carboxylates formation and reactivity. It is important to keep in mind that a finishing varnish can be removed and reapplied many times during the lifetime of a painting, thus renewing the provision of reactive terpenic acids at the interface of the painted layers. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Maya Blue Used in Wall Paintings in Mexican Colonial Convents of the XVI Century
Coatings 2021, 11(1), 88; https://doi.org/10.3390/coatings11010088 - 14 Jan 2021
Viewed by 817
Abstract
Maya blue is a well-known pre-Hispanic pigment, composed of palygorskite or sepiolite and indigo blue, which was used by various Mesoamerican cultures for centuries. There has been limited research about its continued use during the Viceroyalty period; therefore, the sixteenth century is the [...] Read more.
Maya blue is a well-known pre-Hispanic pigment, composed of palygorskite or sepiolite and indigo blue, which was used by various Mesoamerican cultures for centuries. There has been limited research about its continued use during the Viceroyalty period; therefore, the sixteenth century is the perfect period through which to study the continuity of pre-Hispanic traditions. The fact that the indigenous people were active participants in the construction and decoration of convents makes their wall paintings a good sampling material. X-ray fluorescence (XRF), scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and X-ray diffraction (XRD) were performed in samples of blue found in convents across Puebla, Tlaxcala and Morelos in order to identify whether the numerous hues of blue were achieved with Maya blue or with other pigments. We found no copper (Cu) or cobalt (Co) with the XRF, so several pigments, such as azurite, smalt or verdigris, were discarded. With SEM, we discovered that the micromorphology of certain blues was clearly needle-shaped, suggesting the presence of palygorskite or sepiolite. In addition, we found silicon (Si), magnesium (Mg) and aluminum (Al) by using energy-dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (EDS) in all blue samples, which also suggests the presence of these magnesium-rich clay minerals. With the XRD samples, we verified that the blues were produced with these two clay minerals, thus confirming that several wall paintings were manufactured with Maya blue. These findings confirm that this particular manmade pre-Hispanic pigment, Maya blue, was an important pigment prior to the Viceroyal period. Full article
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Planned Papers

The below list represents only planned manuscripts. Some of these manuscripts have not been received by the Editorial Office yet. Papers submitted to MDPI journals are subject to peer-review.

Life of a Painting as Revealed by Technical Analyses: Original Materials and Later Alterations of Édouard Manet’s Woman in Striped Dress

Federica Pozzi 1,*, Silvia A. Centeno 1, Federico Carò 1, Gillian McMillan 2, Lena Stringari 2

1 Department of Scientific Research, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1000 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY 10028, United States

2 Department of Conservation, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, 1071 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY 10128, United States

Abstract: Among the treasures of the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York, is a large-scale portrait by Édouard Manet that remained unfinished upon the artist’s death, in April 1883. This work, now known as Woman in Striped Dress, belongs to Manet’s late artistic production and dates from around 1877-1880. A collaborative endeavor entailing archival research and scientific analysis revealed that the composition had suffered dramatic alterations prior to its arrival at the museum in 1965, likely carried out to finish the picture so it would be marketable and to increase its sale value. Among the main changes uncovered by this technical study are a reduction in size of the canvas and subsequent campaigns of varnishing. Furthermore, along with a detailed characterization of the original materials present in the ground and paint layers, this work enabled to identify areas of later retouching or additions to the original composition that were executed concurrently with the cutting down. The data collected were crucial to devise an appropriate conservation treatment, aiming to remove the deeply discolored varnish as well as select areas of retouching that obscured significant details of Manet’s picture and his delicate brushwork.

Keywords: Manet, painting, portrait, woman, 19th-century, pigments, fillers, varnish, original materials, later alterations

 

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