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by Archaeology Newsroom

The contribution of infrared reflectography to the physicochemical study of Byzantine icons

The article deals with the advantages and diagnostic possibilities of the non – destructive method of infrared reflectography, a useful tool for the physicochemical study of Byzantine icons.

The principle of the method — with some reference to the visual behaviour of the pigment layers as regards the infrared radiation — and the equipment used for its application are also described. The application of this method to four especially chosen Byzantine icons of the Byzantine Museum of Athens showed the existance of damages and overpaintings as well as the artist’s initial drawing on the ground preparation; it also led to an approximate identification of the pigments used in the successive layers of the painting.