In this work, the potentialities of the infrared vision to explore sub-superficial defects in polychromatic statues were investigated. In particular, it was possible to understand how the reflector effect of the exterior golden layers could be minimized, applying advanced statistical algorithms to thermal images. Since this noble metal is present as external coating in both artworks, an in-depth discussion concerning its physicochemical properties is also added. In this context, the principal component thermography technique and, the more recent, partial least squares thermography technique were used on three different datasets recorded, providing long thermal stimuli. The main images were compared both to phasegrams and to the thermographic signal reconstruction results in order to have a clear outline of the situation to be debated. The effects of view factors on the radiation transfer linked to the specular reflections from the surface did not falsely highlight certain features inadvertently. Indeed, the raw thermograms were analyzed one by one. Reflectograms were used to pinpoint emissivity variations due to, e.g., possible repainting. The paper concludes that, as it is possible to understand from a physical point of view, the near-infrared reflectography technique is able to examine the state of conservation of the upper layers in cultural heritage objects, while the infrared thermography technique explores them more in-depth. The thesis statement is based on the thermal and nonthermal parts of the infrared region, therefore, indicating what can be detected by heating the surface and what can be visualized by illuminating the surface, bearing in mind the nature of the external coating.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Condensed Matter Physics