Multi-technique analysis of pigments on sandstone sculptures: Renaissance re-painting of a Roman relief

Campbell, L. and Smith, M. (2022) Multi-technique analysis of pigments on sandstone sculptures: Renaissance re-painting of a Roman relief. Heritage Science, 10, 156. (doi: 10.1186/s40494-022-00790-7)

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The Antonine Wall was commissioned by the Roman Emperor Antoninus Pius around 142 CE and stretches for c. 60 km across the central belt of Scotland, marking the Empire’s most north-western frontier. This vanguard research reports on the materials referred to by Antiquarian sources as having been applied during the sixteenth century for the redecoration of an iconic Distance Sculpture that was once embedded into the mural barrier. Portable non-invasive technologies, including pXRF and in-situ microphotography were deployed. These techniques were further supplemented by micro-sampling for SEM/EDS, FTIR–ATR and microscopy of embedded cross-sections. The validity of applying these complementary techniques has been confirmed. They provide a comprehensive account of the polychromy present, including pigments that could have been applied during the Roman period and others that were only available from the fifteenth or sixteenth Centuries. The work has confirmed stratigraphic sequencing of the pigments which will, in due course, permit the digital reconstruction of how this Classical relief sculpture would have been adorned during the Renaissance.

Item Type:Articles
Additional Information:Funding: Grant funding was most gratefully received from Historic Environment Scotland (Grant Number HEAP2470491033), the University of Glasgow’s Lord Kelvin Adam Smith Leadership Fellowship, the Scottish Renaissance Society Museum and Galleries Research Award and the Archaeology Incentivisation Fund at the University of Glasgow.
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Smith, Dr Margaret and Campbell, Dr Louisa
Authors: Campbell, L., and Smith, M.
College/School:College of Arts > School of Culture and Creative Arts
College of Arts > School of Humanities > Archaeology
Journal Name:Heritage Science
ISSN (Online):2050-7445
Published Online:05 October 2022
Copyright Holders:Copyright © The Author(s) 2022
First Published:First published in Heritage Science 10: 156
Publisher Policy:Reproduced under a Creative Commons License

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Project CodeAward NoProject NamePrincipal InvestigatorFunder's NameFunder RefLead Dept
305660Paints and Pigments in the Past (PPIP): Postdoctoral Fellowship in Materials ScienceMichael GivenHistoric Environment Scotland (HISTSCOT)HEAP2470491033Arts - Archaeology