Diagnostics of wall paintings: A smart and reliable approach

Stefano Sfarra, Clemente Ibarra-Castanedo, Mariagrazia Tortora, Lorenzo Arrizza, Giorgio Cerichelli, Iole Nardi, Xavier Maldague

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Citations (Scopus)


The object of the work is a character of the Madonna con Bambino (XIII-XV century) mural painting (Fontecchio - L'Aquila, Italy). It was analyzed by different nondestructive testing (NDT) techniques: electronic speckle pattern interferometry (ESPI), ultraviolet (UV) imaging and infrared vision. In addition, three micro-samplings were collected on suspected areas after examination of the signal strength variations over the raw thermograms. On the latter, the images' quality was enhanced by applying advanced processing techniques. Micro-samplings were also analyzed by scanning electron microscope (SEM), energy-dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (EDS), Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) and μ-Raman spectroscopy. Splitting, subsurface cracks and under-/over-paintings were detected by this integrated method.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)229-241
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Cultural Heritage
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • Defect
  • Electronic speckle pattern interferometry
  • Energy-dispersive X-ray spectroscopy
  • Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy
  • Infrared thermography
  • Mural painting
  • Near-infrared reflectography
  • Scanning electron microscope
  • Ultraviolet imaging
  • μ-Raman spectroscopy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Conservation
  • Chemistry (miscellaneous)
  • History
  • Anthropology

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