Defects detection and non-destructive testing (NDT) techniques in paintings: An unified approach through measurements of deformation

S. Sfarra, C. Ibarra-Castanedo, D. Ambrosini, D. Paoletti, A. Bendada, X. Maldague

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

1 Citation (Scopus)


The present study is focused on two topics. The first one is a mathematical model, useful to understand the deformation of paintings, which uses straining devices, adjustable and micrometrically controlled via a pin supported in a hollow cylinder. Strains were analyzed by holographic interferometry (HI) technique using an appropriate frame. The second one concerns the need to improve the conservator's knowledge about the defect's detection and defect's propagation in acrylic painting characterized of underdrawings and pentimenti. To fulfill this task, a sample was manufactured to clarify the several uncertainties inherent the influence of external factors on their conservation. Subsurface anomalies were also retrieved by near-infrared reflectography (NIRR) and transmittography (NIRT) techniques, using LED lamps and several narrow-band filters mounted on a CMOS camera, working at different wavelengths each other and in combination with UV imaging. In addition, a sponge glued on the rear side of the canvas was impregnated with a precise amount of water by means of a syringe to verify the "stretcher effect" by the digital speckle photography (DSP) technique (using MatPIV). The same effect also affects the sharp transition of the canvas at the stretcher's edge. In this case, a possible mechanism is a direct mechanical contact between stretcher and canvas that was investigated by HI technique. Finally, advanced algorithms applied to the square heating thermography (SHT) data were very useful to detect three Mylar® inserts simulating different type of defects. These fabricated defects were also identified by optical techniques, while the visual inspection was the only one capable of detecting a biological damage.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationOptics for Arts, Architecture, and Archaeology IV
Publication statusPublished - 2013
Externally publishedYes
EventOptics for Arts, Architecture, and Archaeology IV - Munich, Germany
Duration: 15 May 201316 May 2013


ConferenceOptics for Arts, Architecture, and Archaeology IV


  • Defects
  • Deformations
  • Digital speckle photography
  • Holographic interferometry
  • Paintings
  • Square heating thermography

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Applied Mathematics
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering

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