Recent and Emerging Analytical Approaches for the Identification, Characterization, and Mapping of Pigments and Binders in Ancient Wall Paintings

A special issue of Heritage (ISSN 2571-9408).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 July 2024 | Viewed by 582

Special Issue Editor

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Guest Editor
Department of Optoelectronic Methods and Techniques for Artwork Restoration and Conservation, National Institute of Research and Development for Optoelectronics-INOE 2000, 077125 Magurele, Romania
Interests: heritage science; polychrome works of art; characterization and identification of painting materials using non- and micro-invasive spectroscopic techniques; elemental and molecular spectroscopy; spectral databases; data integration; data fusion; open science
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Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Ancient mural paintings, found in a multitude of cultures across the globe, have been a source of fascination among scholars and the general public alike due to their aesthetic and artistic expression. Despite being extensively studied over time, ancient mural paintings continue to garner interest and stimulate new research, particularly because their preservation requires an in-depth understanding of the employed materials, painting techniques and the degradation processes that can affect these complex and fragile polychrome surfaces in time.

Today, analytical capabilities allow us to go beyond the chemical and structural characterization of the painting materials that may be present in wall paintings, allowing professionals to carry out research at an unprecedented scale and detail. This Special Issue of the journal Heritage invites original research articles and reviews that discuss recent and emerging analytical approaches for the identification, characterization, and mapping of pigments and binders in wall paintings, with a special focus on ancient polychrome murals. We seek to collect a diverse set of papers focused on the use of state-of-the-art analytical methods, including portable non- and micro-invasive analytical techniques, as well as on the use of innovative methodologies, for the investigation of a diverse set of wall paintings coming from various spaces and cultures. Areas of interest include, but are not limited to, stratigraphic characterization of polychrome surfaces, chemical imaging and mapping of pigments and binders, qualitative and quantitative characterization of organic colorants and pigment mixtures, analysis of trace elements and impurities in mineral pigments.

We are confident that your manuscripts will contribute toward a better understanding of the composition, structure, and deterioration mechanism of ancient murals, and will add valuable insights into the technological features and the socio-cultural practices of ancient artists.

Dr. Ioana Maria Cortea
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at 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 submissions that pass pre-check are 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. Heritage 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 1600 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.


  • ancient wall paintings
  • painting materials and techniques
  • mineral pigments
  • organic colorants
  • organic binders
  • stratigraphic characterization
  • surface characterization
  • chemical trace analysis
  • chemical imaging and mapping
  • non- and micro-invasive analytical techniques
  • on-site characterization
  • state-of-the-art analytical methods
  • innovative methodologies

Published Papers

This special issue is now open for submission.
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