Reflecting the past, imag(in)ing the past: macro-reflection imaging of painting materials by fast MIR hyperspectral analysis

Botticelli, M. , Risdonne, V., Visser, T., Young, C. , Smith, M. J. , Charsley, J. M., Rutkauskas, M., Altmann, Y. and Reid, D. T. (2023) Reflecting the past, imag(in)ing the past: macro-reflection imaging of painting materials by fast MIR hyperspectral analysis. European Physical Journal Plus, 138(5), 432. (doi: 10.1140/epjp/s13360-023-03958-7)

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Imaging spectroscopy has been developed in the last two decades in the visible and infrared spectral range for detecting pigments and binders on paintings. The near-infrared (NIR) region has been proved effective for the discrimination of lipids and proteinaceous binders. More recently, the mid-infrared (MIR) range has also been tested on paintings. Reflection imaging prototypes already developed could be further optimized for cultural heritage analysis, for example by: enhancing the instrument configuration and performance; adopting compressive strategies to increase data processing speeds; using data validation to confirm that the processed image reflects the composition of a painted surface; and lowering price to enable more cost-effective analysis of large surface areas. Here, we demonstrate a novel hyperspectral Fourier transform spectrometer (HS FTS), which enables an imaging strategy that provides a significant improvement in acquisition rate compared to other state-of-the-art techniques. We demonstrate hyperspectral imaging across the 1400–700 cm−1 region in reflection mode with test samples and the painting ‘Uplands in Lorne’ (Acc. No.: GLAHA43427) by D.Y. Cameron (1865–1945). A post-processing analysis of the resulting hyperspectral images, after validation of reference samples by conventional Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy, shows the potential of the method for efficient non-destructive classification of different materials found on painted cultural heritage. This research demonstrates that the HS FTS is a convenient and compact tool for non-invasive analysis of painted cultural heritage objects at spatio-spectral acquisition rates potentially higher than current FTS imaging techniques. Ultimately, when combined with fast graphics processing unit-based reconstruction, the HS FTS may enable fast, large area imaging.

Item Type:Articles
Additional Information:This project was supported by the UK Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council, under Grant number EP/R033013/1, within the PISTACHIO (Photonic Imaging Strategies for Technical Art History and Conservation) project and by the Royal Academy of Engineering under the Research Fellowship scheme RF201617/16/31. Instruments were provided by the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) under Grant CapCo (Capability for Collections) ‘Equipping the Vision of Kelvin Hall’, number AH/V012398/1.
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Smith, Dr Margaret and Risdonne, Ms Valentina and Visser, Miss Tess and Botticelli, Dr Michela and Young, Professor Christina
Authors: Botticelli, M., Risdonne, V., Visser, T., Young, C., Smith, M. J., Charsley, J. M., Rutkauskas, M., Altmann, Y., and Reid, D. T.
College/School:College of Arts & Humanities > School of Culture and Creative Arts
College of Arts & Humanities > School of Culture and Creative Arts > History of Art
Journal Name:European Physical Journal Plus
ISSN (Online):2190-5444
Published Online:22 May 2023
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2023 The Authors
First Published:First published in European Physical Journal Plus 138(5): 432
Publisher Policy:Reproduced under a Creative Commons License
Data DOI:10.5525/gla.researchdata.1403

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Project CodeAward NoProject NamePrincipal InvestigatorFunder's NameFunder RefLead Dept
300866PISTACHIO: Photonic Imaging Strategies for Technical Art Conservation and HistoryChristina YoungEngineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC)EP/R033013/1Arts - History of Art
313089Fulfilling the Vision of Kelvin HallChristina YoungArts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC)AH/V012398/1US - Museum & Art Gallery