Thermographic and reflectographic imaging investigations on Baroque paintings preserved at the Chigi Palace in Ariccia

Sofia Ceccarelli, Noemi Orazi, Fulvio Mercuri, Stefano Paoloni, Ugo Zammit, Francesco Petrucci


In this work, two different mid-infrared imaging techniques operating in the 3-5 µm spectral range are applied to the study of three paintings on canvas, dating back to the XVII century, preserved at the Chigi Palace in Ariccia (Italy). A combined approach based on the use of pulsed thermography and mid-infrared reflectography is proposed for the analysis of the ‘Primavera’ by Filippo Lauri and Mario Nuzzi, the ‘Ritratto di Mario Nuzzi che dipinge un vaso di fiori’ by Giovanni Maria Morandi and Mario Nuzzi and the ‘Ebbrezza di Noè’ by Andrea Sacchi. The aim is to show how the integrated use of these techniques enables a depth-resolved investigation of the entire layered structure of the paintings, from the surface up to the canvas support. The complementarity of the presented results allows an evaluation of the conservative status of the support and the detection of graphical and pictorial features hidden beneath the surface layer, such as pentimenti, as these features are important for the historical and artistic characterisation of the artefact.

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