Material Research of Gilding on Medieval Polychrome Sculpture

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Š. Hrdličková Kučkováa, I. C. A. Sandub, M. Křížková Crhováa, L. Coufalováa, I. Křížová a, R. Hyneka, V. S. Muralhac, S. Schaferc, and I. Fogašd

a Department of Biochemistry and Microbiology, University of Chemistry and Technology in Prague, Czech Republic, b REQUIMTE, FCT-UNL at Hercules laboratory, University of Evora, Palacio do Vimioso, Largo Marques de Marialva no 8, 7000-809, Evora, Portugal, c Nova University of Lisbon, Research Unit VICARTE: Vidro e Cerâmica para as Artes, Faculty of Sciences and Technology, Lisbon, Portugal, d Moravian Gallery in Brno, Brno, Czech Republic

Keywords: gilding, Middle age polychromy, cross-sections, proteinaceous binders, mass spectrometry,dyeing tests


This paper proposes an innovative protocol using MALDI-TOF MS (Matrix-Assisted Laser Desorption/ Ionisation – Time of Flight Mass Spectrometry), SEMEDX (Scanning Electron Microscope coupled to Energy Dispersive X-ray spectroscopy), and fluorescence test Sypro Ruby for simultaneous identification and mapping of protein binders in the ground and adhesive under-layer of the gildings on polished cross-sections. The proposed protocol was used to identify gold foils, inorganic pigments and for localization protein binders on the samples derived from the polychrome sculpture „Mourning of Jesus Christ“ from the early 16th century, whose pattern was the woodcut made by Albrecht Dürer.


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