The painting object of the present work, currently exposed in the Museum of Colle del Duomo in Viterbo (Italy), has been dated back by art historians to the 16th century and it owes its relevance to a still discussed attribution to Michelangelo Buonarroti. For this reason, art historians and the responsible curator of the Museum commissioned scientific investigations to support and explain their hypothesis about the painting attribution and dating. Here we report the results of two sets of investigation: diffuse reflectance hyperspectral imaging and X-ray fluorescence spectroscopy of the painting; radiocarbon dating and identification of the panel wood. The hyperspectral dataset, coupled with X-ray fluorescence spectra on selected analysis points, reveals the presence of precious ultramarine blue and vermillion pigments, confirming the importance of the painting committer. Wood analysis and radiocarbon dating by wiggle matching technique revealed that the botanical species used for the panel is Cypress (Cupressus sempervirens L.), and enabled dating the painting around AD 1500± 25, providing to art historians a further element for the attribution of the artwork.

Beyond the visible: The Viterbo Crucifixion panel painting attributed to Michelangelo Buonarroti

Perri A.;Comelli D.;Valentini G.;Manzoni C.
2020

Abstract

The painting object of the present work, currently exposed in the Museum of Colle del Duomo in Viterbo (Italy), has been dated back by art historians to the 16th century and it owes its relevance to a still discussed attribution to Michelangelo Buonarroti. For this reason, art historians and the responsible curator of the Museum commissioned scientific investigations to support and explain their hypothesis about the painting attribution and dating. Here we report the results of two sets of investigation: diffuse reflectance hyperspectral imaging and X-ray fluorescence spectroscopy of the painting; radiocarbon dating and identification of the panel wood. The hyperspectral dataset, coupled with X-ray fluorescence spectra on selected analysis points, reveals the presence of precious ultramarine blue and vermillion pigments, confirming the importance of the painting committer. Wood analysis and radiocarbon dating by wiggle matching technique revealed that the botanical species used for the panel is Cypress (Cupressus sempervirens L.), and enabled dating the painting around AD 1500± 25, providing to art historians a further element for the attribution of the artwork.
Cupressus sempervirens L.
Dating
Hyperspectral imaging
Michelangelo workshop
Pigments
X-ray fluorescence spectroscopy
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11311/1162281
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