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Investigation and Characterization of Artistic Techniques in Works of Modern and Contemporary Art

Stefania Bruni - ENEA, Unità Tecnica Ingegneria Sismica; Giuseppe Maino - ENEA, Unità Tecnica Metodi per la Sicurezza dei Reattori e del Ciclo del Combustibile; Carmela Vaccaro, Lisa Volpe - Università di Ferrara

The scientific study of pigments and materials used by painters in their works is clearly important for the knowledge of the different artistic techniques, for planning the appropriate interventions of cleaning and restoration of the paintings. Moreover, identification of industrial varnishes and pigments in artistic works often helps the art historian and the conservator to date the considered paintings or, at least, to define post quem chronology.

The present research and study, conducted on titanium white and its applications in the field of historical works of art, is focused on two important but different artists and related paintings of the modern era as Sargent's "Caffè Orientale sulla Riva degli Schiavoni”, oil on canvas, 1882, and Picasso's "Cubist Figure", oil on canvas, 1909. The analysis has been carried out using modern diagnostic technology: stereomicroscope and SEM/EDAX