How to Retrieve Information Inherent to Old Restorations Made on Frescoes of Particular Artistic Value Using Infrared Vision?

Stefano Sfarra, Panagiotis Theodorakeas, Clemente Ibarra-Castanedo, Nicolas P. Avdelidis, Dario Ambrosini, Eleni Cheilakou, Domenica Paoletti, Maria Koui, Abdelhakim Bendada, Xavier Maldague

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Citations (Scopus)


“Restoration is the methodological moment in which the artwork is appreciated in its material form and in its historical and aesthetic duality, with a view to transmitting it to the future” (C. Brandi). This work is inspired by this memorable definition. It is based both on the study of an ancient fresco and a fresco’s reproduction, assessing the principal defects afflicting this type of structures and aiming at reconstructing the restoration phases through the definition of a combined thermographic and reflectographic procedure that has the purpose of mapping the quality of the restoration itself and thinking of the future. According to Brandi, the timeline for an artwork can be divided into three parts. The first corresponding to the duration of the creative process conducted by the artist and culminating with the completion of the work. The second corresponds to an interval, which is the historical time elapsing from the conclusion of the work to the present. Last but not least, the moment, which is acknowledged in the consciousness of the observer who takes the responsibility of transmitting it to the future. The observer might also be the restorer. Indeed, the restoration takes place at the latter stage and it aims at re-establishing the potential unity of the artwork, to the highest level possible, without producing an artistic or historical forgery and without erasing any trace of the natural passage of time on the artwork. The infrared vision might help to reveal whether the restoration is done properly or not.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3051-3070
Number of pages20
JournalInternational Journal of Thermophysics
Issue number10-11
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • Acrylic resins
  • Active IR thermography
  • Fresco
  • Historical reconstruction
  • Near-infrared reflectography
  • Restoration
  • Splitting

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Condensed Matter Physics

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