Jose Of Figueiredo Laboratory

Lisbon, Portugal

Jose Of Figueiredo Laboratory

Lisbon, Portugal
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Valadas S.,University of Évora | Freire R.,University of Évora | Cardoso A.,University of Évora | Mirao J.,University of Évora | And 4 more authors.
Micron | Year: 2016

This paper focusses on the study of the underdrawings of 16th century easel paintings attributed to the workshop of the Portuguese-Flemish Master Frei Carlos. This investigation encompasses multidisciplinary research that relates the results of surface exams (infrared reflectography, standard light photography and infrared photography) with analytical investigations.The surface analysis of Frei Carlos' underdrawings by infrared reflectography has shown heterogeneous work, revealing two different situations: (1) an abundant and expressive underdrawing, revealing a Flemish influence and (2) a simple and outlined underdrawing. This preliminary research raised an important question related to this Portuguese-Flemish workshop and to the analytical approach: Is the underdrawing's heterogeneity, as observed in the reflectograms, related to different artists or is this rather an effect that is produced due to the use of different materials in the underdrawing's execution? Consequently, if different materials were used, how can we have access to the hidden underdrawings? In order to understand the reasons for this dissemblance, chemical analysis of micro-samples collected in underdrawing areas and representing both situations were carried out by optical microscopy, micro Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (μ-FTIR), scanning electron microscopy coupled with energy dispersive X-ray spectrometry (SEM-EDX) and micro-Raman spectroscopy (μ-Raman). Taking into account the different possibilities and practical and theoretical limitations of surface and punctual examinations in the study of easel painting underdrawings, the methodology of research was adjusted, sometimes resulting in a re-analysis of experimental results. This research shows the importance of combining multispectral surface exams and chemical analysis in the understanding of the artistic creative processes of 16th century easel paintings. © 2016 Elsevier Ltd.

Valadas S.,University of Évora | Freire R.V.,University of Évora | Cardoso A.,University of Évora | Mirao J.,University of Évora | And 4 more authors.
Microscopy and Microanalysis | Year: 2015

This paper reports an unusual green pigment, brochantite (Cu4(SO4)(OH)6), on 16th-century Portuguese-Flemish paintings, attributed to the Master Frei Carlos workshop. This green mineral is usually identified as an impurity or alteration product in the green pigments verdigris (Cu(CH3COO)2 nCu(OH)2) or malachite (CuCO3 Cu(OH)2). However, after thorough investigation with a broad range of analytical techniques, it became clear that, in this case, brochantite was applied as a pigment. The abundance, pigment granulometry, and pigment morphology suggest intentional use by this Portuguese-Flemish Master as a natural pigment rather than its accidental use as an alteration product. This seems to be a distinguishable feature to other painters (Flemish and Portuguese) working in Portugal at the beginning of the 16th century. The multi-analytical study of these easel paintings was first performed by physical imaging techniques and material characterization was carried out by optical microscopy, micro-Fourier-transform infrared-spectroscopy, micro-Raman spectroscopy, scanning electron microscopy coupled with energy dispersive X-ray spectrometry, and micro-X-ray diffraction analysis (XRD). © Microscopy Society of America 2015.

Sandu I.C.A.,New University of Lisbon | Murta E.,Jose Of Figueiredo Laboratory | Veiga R.,New University of Lisbon | Muralha V.S.F.,New University of Lisbon | And 3 more authors.
Microscopy Research and Technique | Year: 2013

The research results presented in this paper are part of a larger study on the materials and techniques used in polychrome altarpieces of gilded woodcarving decoration ("talha dourada") in Portugal. The paper focuses on a narrative Portuguese Altarpiece from Miranda do Douro, considered one of the masterpieces of "talha dourada" among all the retables of the Iberian Peninsula in XVIIth and XVIIIth centuries. Although on the Portuguese territory, the altarpiece was made by artists from the Royal Spanish school of Valladolid, under a mannerist style. Thus the study opens a window on the artists' circulation between Spain and Portugal and influences of the Spanish schools in Baroque epoch on the Portuguese "talha". During its history this altarpiece underwent several transformations and extensive conservation treatments in 1989. On this occasion more than 50 samples were collected and analyzed using an interdisciplinary multi-technique methodology. 27 of these samples are chosen for this study in order to investigate the chromatic palette, the materials and techniques used in the polychromy of the retable. A novel protocol of investigation using different conventional and unconventional analytical techniques (OM + fluorescent staining tests on cross-sections, Raman microscopy, XRD, XRF, X-ray micro-CT, SEM-EDX, MALDI-TOF-MS and LC-MS/MS) was established within an innovative research project ( and applied on these samples. This protocol is necessary to confirm the results obtained in the 1989 campaign and to have further insight into the gilding and polychrome decoration materials and techniques and the additional information reported in the historical documents. The material and technical history of this important altarpiece will be thus re-documented from a scientific perspective, meant to confirm and bring new information on the decorative technique used in the creation of this complex Portuguese monument. © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

Gil M.,University of Évora | Gil M.,University of Lisbon | Serrao V.,University of Lisbon | Carvalho M.L.,University of Lisbon | And 8 more authors.
Color Research and Application | Year: 2014

The early 17th century mural paintings set from the low-choir of the extinct Dominican Convent of Nossa Senhora da Saudação in the town of Montemor-o-novo were analyzed by a setup comprising visible spectra-colorimetry and scanning electron microscopy coupled with energy dispersive X-ray spectrometry (SEM-EDS) complemented with optical microscopy (OM), micro X-ray diffraction, micro FTIR, and micro Raman spectroscopy. The main goals were material and diagnostic characterization of the paint layers and pictorial techniques used by Jose de Escovar workshop, one of the most active and controversial easel and mural painters of Evora Archiepiscopate between 1585 and 1622. The results show a differentiate use of red, blue, and green pigments in an alkaline environment. Stable mercury sulfide (HgS) was identified in almost all red areas in the latest scenes while, in the first ones, red ochre (Fe2O3) is the predominant pigment. Faded smalt (a co-potassium silicate glass) is present pure in the sky background or mixed with red ochre in the garments at the beginning of the low-choir but less at the end. Five kinds of copper-based materials, with different degrees of color alteration, were found, namely malachite and azurite, copper chlorides, copper sulfates (e.g., posjnakite), and pseudomalachite. Another curious feature is the uneven use of a limewash made with slaked calcitic lime in the carnations. Lack of material, internal organization strategies, or technical differences within the team are probably the most likely causes. © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

Valadas S.,University of Évora | Candeias A.,University of Évora | Candeias A.,Jose Of Figueiredo Laboratory | Dias C.,University of Évora | And 5 more authors.
Applied Physics A: Materials Science and Processing | Year: 2013

The systematic characterization of the painting's palette and technique applied on the execution of the mural paintings of the Batalha Monastery (Batalha, Leiria, Portugal) is presented. These are the oldest mural paintings known in Portugal (apart from Roman frescoes) and represent the beginning of an artistic Portuguese tradition that continues until the nineteenth century. The aim of the study was to identify for the first time by adopting a multi-analytical physico-chemical approach of the pigments, binder, and alteration products (white veils, crusts, and pigment alteration) of these unique works of arts in order not only to better understand the painting technique, but also to support a conservation-restoration intervention that took place from April to August 2010. Micro-sampling of paint layers was performed on representative areas of the paintings. The characterization of the pigments and binders was carried out by microscopy and microanalysis of cross sections using optical microscopy, scanning electron microscopy coupled with energy dispersive X-ray spectrometry (SEM-EDS), micro-FTIR, and micro X-ray diffraction. The combined analysis of the paintings allowed the identification of the painting's palette: Vermillion (HgS) and red ochre for the reds, yellow ochres for the yellows, green earths and malachite for the greens, azurite for the blues, and carbon for the blacks. The use of the pigment is dependent of the motive painted while the most expensive materials were used in the most important iconographic motives. Alteration of malachite was identified in darkened layers in green areas of the paintings. White veil areas on the surface of the paintings were identified as calcite from precipitation/dissolution processes due to water run-off on the sacristy dome ceiling and walls. © 2013 Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg.

Rosado T.,University of Évora | Gil M.,University of Évora | Caldeira A.T.,University of Évora | Martins M.D.R.,University of Évora | And 6 more authors.
International Journal of Architectural Heritage | Year: 2014

The aim of this work is the material characterization of wall paintings and biodegradation assessment, including the analysis of microbial growth and the effect of microbial proliferation, in view of their conservation. The methodology was applied to the study of frescoes dated from 1531, located in the ancient parish church of Santo Aleixo, Southern Portugal. The combined use of optical microscopy, scanning electron microscopy coupled with energy dispersive X-ray spectrometry (SEM-EDS) and μ-X-ray diffraction (XRD) showed that the painting palette is composed of red and yellow ochers, malachite, azurite, and bone black. The pigments do not show signs of chemical deterioration, except for malachite, which transformed to black copper oxide (tenorite). The microbiological study allowed the identification of several bacterial strains (e.g., Gram+ cocci, Gram+ bacilli, Actinomycetes sp.), yeast strains, and filamentous fungi of the genera Penicillium, Cladosporium and Aspergillus, among others of the microflora present in the paintings. Their metabolic activity is primarily responsible for the physical disruption of paint layers and underlying mortars. The combined approach using SEM analysis and enzymatic dehydrogenase measurement allowed the evaluation of microflora proliferation and diagnosis of the biodeterioration of the mural paintings. Additionally, the effect of some commercial biocides was evaluated for the predominant strains in order to select the most efficient biocide. © 2014 Taylor and Francis Group.

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