During a restoration and diagnostic campaigns carried out on Paestum funerary slabs belonging to the Lucanian funerary art, calcium antimonate (CaSb2O6) was detected for the first time in the pictorial layers. This artificial pigment, widely employed as opacifier both in ancient glass and glaze covering clay objects, was found in the wall paintings, regardless of the colour, supporting the hypothesis of an intentional addition of calcium antimonate to the pigments and the involvement of ceramic painters. A multi-analytical approach was performed on 32 funerary slabs (6th-3rd century BCE), currently located at the National Archaeological Museum of Paestum (Italy) using both polarized light microscopy and environmental scanning electron microscopy equipped with energy dispersive X-ray spectrometer, micro X-ray fluorescence, micro Raman spectroscopy, Fourier Transform Infrared spectroscopy and powder X-ray diffraction. The results confirmed the use of a limited number of pigments, usually applied with fresco technique, although in many cases the stratigraphy of the painted layer showed morphology of mezzo fresco technique, but no organic binders were found. The hues of vegetal decorations were obtained using green earth, sometimes Egyptian blue mixed with yellow ochre, carbon and bone blacks, and orpiment. The alteration of green earth and other ironcontaining pigments are likely responsible for the discolouration of the original hues. In red paints, hematite and red ochre are frequently associated with ilmenite, a typical volcanic mineral. Egyptian blue was used in blue paints while in black paints it was mixed with carbon and bone black pigments.

Calcium antimonate: A new discovery in colour palette of Paestum wall paintings

Amadori, Maria Letizia
Writing – Original Draft Preparation
;
Valentini, Laura
Formal Analysis
;
Ferrucci, Fabiano
Resources
;
Mengacci, Valeria
Formal Analysis
;
Camaiti, Mara
Writing – Original Draft Preparation
2021

Abstract

During a restoration and diagnostic campaigns carried out on Paestum funerary slabs belonging to the Lucanian funerary art, calcium antimonate (CaSb2O6) was detected for the first time in the pictorial layers. This artificial pigment, widely employed as opacifier both in ancient glass and glaze covering clay objects, was found in the wall paintings, regardless of the colour, supporting the hypothesis of an intentional addition of calcium antimonate to the pigments and the involvement of ceramic painters. A multi-analytical approach was performed on 32 funerary slabs (6th-3rd century BCE), currently located at the National Archaeological Museum of Paestum (Italy) using both polarized light microscopy and environmental scanning electron microscopy equipped with energy dispersive X-ray spectrometer, micro X-ray fluorescence, micro Raman spectroscopy, Fourier Transform Infrared spectroscopy and powder X-ray diffraction. The results confirmed the use of a limited number of pigments, usually applied with fresco technique, although in many cases the stratigraphy of the painted layer showed morphology of mezzo fresco technique, but no organic binders were found. The hues of vegetal decorations were obtained using green earth, sometimes Egyptian blue mixed with yellow ochre, carbon and bone blacks, and orpiment. The alteration of green earth and other ironcontaining pigments are likely responsible for the discolouration of the original hues. In red paints, hematite and red ochre are frequently associated with ilmenite, a typical volcanic mineral. Egyptian blue was used in blue paints while in black paints it was mixed with carbon and bone black pigments.
File in questo prodotto:
Non ci sono file associati a questo prodotto.

I documenti in IRIS sono protetti da copyright e tutti i diritti sono riservati, salvo diversa indicazione.

Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11576/2695810
Citazioni
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.pmc??? ND
  • Scopus 1
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.isi??? 1
social impact