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by Archaeology Newsroom

How the murals by Panselinos at the Church of Protaton at Mount Athos were photochemically analyzed

The murals at the Protaton on Mount Athos belong to the end of the 13th century. These murals are the only remaining composition by Manouel Panselinos and a unique example of the Macedonian School of painting. Until now, bibliography had concentrated on the aesthetics and the history of the murals and attention had not been given to the procedure of their making by the artist. This treatise a) describes the materials and techniques used by the artist, b) gives a detailed record of the damage, fading and interventions made on the paintings over the years, having as its purpose an effective conservation of this work of art. Attention was given both to Panselinos’ technique and to his style of painting, while the methods of analysis and the samples taken were a combination of non-destructive methods such as photographing and macrophotography of the visible end of the spectrum, ultra-violet reflectography, photographing the fluorescence resulting from visible and UV light illumination, and colour measuring. Samples were observed through the microscope, μRAMAN and μ FITIR spectroscopic methods were applied, as was analytical electron microscopy, SEM-EDS.