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Pigment database Veneria reale

New database available from Centro Conservazione e Restauro dei Beni Culturali La Venaria Reale !

“Integrating the skills it possesses, the Centro has been able to produce a set of around 1200 painting samples with corresponding imaging and point analysis databases. The materials used – totalling 173 between pigments and dyes, 4 for the preparatory drawings, 4 binders and 2 types of oil – were selected to reproduce the principal artistic techniques used from antiquity to contemporary art, presenting combinations with the products most widely used in restoration.
The database is available online as a comparative and reference tool for the study of the royal art works.”




UKIYO-E color pigments optical and chemical

Japanese pigments in Ukiyo-e  (1700-1900) could be recognized with non invasive optical images from UV to IR (reflexion and fluorescence) and chemical XRF data.

Here is the summary of the work done in C2RMF of pigments registered in imaging under visible light, UV and IR transformed in False color ( and fluorescence from UV light in visible domain.  Main chemical component from XRF are also listed.

Fluorescence response from visible to visible and visible to IR will be added soon.

2020 C2RMF Clotilde Boust


Cite this article as: Clotilde Boust, "UKIYO-E color pigments optical and chemical," in Scientific imaging for cultural heritage / Images scientifiques pour le patrimoine, ISSN 2609-780X, 12/04/2021,

3D Heritage Online Presenter : 3DHOP

3DHop is an interesting project from  Visual Computing Lab of ISTI-CNR Italy :

“3DHOP (3D Heritage Online Presenter) is an open-source framework for the creation of interactive Web presentations of high-resolution 3D models, oriented to the Cultural Heritage field. 3DHOP target audience ranges from the museum curators with some IT experience to the experienced Web designers who want to embed 3D contents in their creations, from students in the CH field to small companies developing web applications for museum and CH institutions.”

The contact page reveals several  linked projects:

“3DHOP has been designed on the base of the experience done in the EC IP project 3DCOFORM: Tools and Expertise for 3D Collection Formation. De facto, 3DHOP can be considered the second version of the Community Presenter tool, which was designed and implemented as part of the 3DCOFORM project.

The 3DHOP technology has been developed in the framework of the EC NoE project V-MUST.NET – Virtual Museum Transnational Network.

3DHOP is currently used and, at the same time, developed and debugged in some other research projects:

Séminaire C2RMF 29/11 : Integration of spectral and XRF images for Louvre Iranian manuscript pigment study 

Le prochain séminaire du C2RMF aura lieu le vendredi 29 novembre 2019 à 11h dans l’amphithéâtre Palissy.

Laurence Clivet, Claudia Colantonio et Marcello Melis présenteront une intervention intitulée : « Integration of spectral and XRF images for Louvre Iranian manuscript pigment study ».

Séminaire C2RMF 29_11

Pour plus d’informations, vous pouvez consulter le site du C2RMF :

Profilocolore screen capture
Profilocolore screen capture of spectral study

ARTICLE : Symposium on non-destructive testing of cultural heritage, Korea

International symposium on non-destructive testing of cultural heritage: Radioactive techniques for diagnosis and conservation of cultural heritage

Symposium international [Diagnostic non destructif des biens culturels] commémorant 10e anniversaire du Centre de science de la conservation du patrimoine culturel, Corée, 2019

This symposium brought together scientists using ionizing radiation in the field of cultural heritage, either for its characterization or for its conservation. 5 presentations for a nice audience of a hundred people, mainly academics, students and professors in the fields of heritage sciences.

  • Curent status and prospects for the conservation and restoration of cultural of cultural heritage using radiation technology – Song Jungil – Cultural Heritage Conservation Science Center, NRICH (National Research Institute of Cultural Heritage)
  • Surface 3D, X-rays and X-ray tomography for museum object analysis in France – Clotilde Boust – C2RMF (Centre de Recherche et Recherche des Musées de France)
  • Analysis and application of precise image of cultural heritage using X-ray computed tomography – Oh Hwasuk – Wonkwang Regional University, Innovation Center for Next Generation Industrial Radiation Technology
  • Non-destructive test and utilization for cultural heritage by neutron – Kim Taejoo – KAERI (Korea Atomic Energy Research Institute)
  • Gamma radiation processing for cultural heritage preservation – Laurent Cortella – ARC-Nucléart, CEA Grenoble.

“Surface 3D, X-Rays and X-tomography for museum object analysis in France”, Clotilde Boust, Elsa Lambert, Charlotte Hochart, Nicolas Mélard, Benoit Mille, Center of research and restoration for French museums -C2RMF, 14 quai Francois Mitterrand 75001 Paris France

MEMO : Scientific imaging for art conservation

IAEA Bangkok 16-20 July 2018

Memo for UV, visible, IR and X-Rays imaging for cultural heritage analysis.

2018 C2RMF Scientific imaging for art conservation-MEMO ok

Cite this article as: Clotilde Boust, "MEMO : Scientific imaging for art conservation," in Scientific imaging for cultural heritage / Images scientifiques pour le patrimoine, ISSN 2609-780X, 21/10/2019,


ARTICLE : X-rays ray tomography and aggregated analysis for Bavay treasure bronze statuettes analysis

Article au SPIE optical metrology, Optics for Arts, Architecture, and Archaeology VII (Conference 11058), Munich, June 2019

Clotilde Boust, Elsa Lambert, Charlotte Hochart, Benoit Mille Center of research and restoration for French museums -C2RMF

Download : 2019 ProcSPIE-boust-14ok

CHANGE EU project

CHANGE project is an ITN founded by Europe H2020

Several PhD call are available here :

The combination of new technologies and the integration of conventional investigation tools currently used by CH experts (archaeologists, architects, curators, conservation scientists, conservators, art historians) and associated specialists (archaeometers, geomorphologists, etc.) allows us to anticipate the emergence of a new generation of multi-skilled experts specialized in the study and monitoring of changes on CH objects. CHANGE will respond to this urgent need. The main scientific objective of CHANGE is to develop a methodology to assess and monitor any change to which CH artifacts are faced during their exposure to the atmosphere and their conservation treatments. It requires a multi scale and multi modal approach in both acquisition and processing of data collected and harmonization and unification of processing protocols.

These objectives will be reached through the research projects carried out by each Early Stage Researchers (ESR), collaborative work between the ESRs and between them and the beneficiaries/partners. ESRs with different scientific backgrounds relevant to CHANGE will be selected and will be trained to bridge their existing knowledge and the one to gain all along the research programme. In a nutshell, the most innovative aspect of CHANGE is to study change issues on CH artifacts by integrating the expertise of CH experts to a multi modal approach applicable at a variety of scales.

Specific Objectives

  • Development of multi-scale acquisition systems for geometric change capture (3D) of CH assets.
  • Development of multimodal acquisition systems for appearance change capture of CH assets.
  • Integration of multimodal and multiscale acquisition systems for change capture (3D and appearance) of CH assets.
  • Development of dedicated methods for change visualisation of CH assets from multiscale and multimodal data.
  • Development of computational methods for change detection, quantification and characterization of CH assets from multimodal and multiscale data.
  • Design of repeatable and contextualised strategies of digitization.
  • Development of acquisition strategies for change monitoring of CH assets.
  • Application to the change monitoring during alteration processes of CH assets.
  • Application to the change monitoring during conservation interventions of CH assets.
  • Interpretation and evaluation of collected data on CH assets.
  • Archiving of CH data after upgrading them with semantic metadata useful for preservation activities.


4th CIE Expert Symposium on Colour and Visual Appearance, Prague 2016

Page, M.J. (1,2,3) , Boust, C. (2) , Mélard, N. (2) , Robcis, D. (2) , Obein, G. (3)
1) Océ Print Logic Technologies, Créteil, FRANCE
2) Centre de Recherche et de Restauration des Musées de France, Paris, FRANCE
3) Conservatoire National des Arts et Métiers, Saint-Denis, FRANCE

roughness measures with Hirox microscope

Surfaces of materials from cultural heritage are exceptionally varied as patina, varnish, wear or scratches are added intentionally or with time to the base material, whether it is wood, marble, stucco, or brass. Measuring their texture provides a lot of information to curators but it constitutes a challenging task for the engineer. The present study focuses on the question of texture acquisition by means of two optical micro-topographic instruments. As those
instruments deeply differ in their working principle, it is necessary to check if results are comparable in terms of roughness. Moreover, in order to define the space of materials they are able to record, the study highlighted how the global appearance of an object interferes
with the measurement of its surface relief, because of the design of the utilized instruments.

Keywords: Optical metrology, 3D, Appearance, Roughness, Cultural heritage, Scientific techniques in conservation and restoration

Appearance Reproduction for Cultural Heritage Applications: from Surface Acquisition to Realistic 2.5D Printing

Article de la thèse de Marine Page, publié à Electronic Imaging 2017 (

M. Page 1,2,3 , C. Boust 1 , G. Obein 3 , M. Ortiz 2 , A. Razet 3

1 Centre de Recherche et de Restauration des Musées de France
2 Océ Print Logic Technologies
3 Conservatoire National des Arts et Métiers

2.5D printing is a technology which creates surface relief by
superimposing successive layers of inks. The question of the
characterization of heights obtained with this technique brings us
to consider new metrics and mathematical ways to represent the
influence of diverse printing parameters on the obtained relief,
possibly used to compensate the defaults of the system.
Our method takes over the classical Modulation Transfer
Function (MTF) approach and adapts it to a vertical modulation
instead of considering the (x, y) plane, introducing then a Height
Modulation Transfer Function (HMTF). Characterization charts
are composed of lines patterns printed at different heights,
frequencies and droplet levels. Prints are scanned with a
chromatic confocal sensor and resulting topographies are
analyzed to extract the HMTF. By analogy with traditional MTF
methods, results – consisting of the measurement of the deviation
between the digital input and the analog output – allow to evaluate
the quality of our printer and to compensate it by setting up a
retro-action loop.
The method, here presented in the case of the 2.5D printing
prototype, can be extended to regular 3D printing techniques.

DATABASE : Pigment image database under UV and IR radiations -part 2 raw materials

C2RMF COPA project
Kremer raw  material samples :
– image in visible domain
– image in false color infrared with IR reflexion (750-1000nm)
– image in false color ultraviolet with UV reflexion (360-400 nm)
– image of fluorescence under UV (365 nm) to visible(380-780 nm)
Name of pigments in several langages :

Télécharger les PDF :

noms en Francais :  2017 C2RMF Pigments_KREMER_boites_noms

et imageries : 2017 C2RMF pigments bocaux Kremer Imagerie VIS IR UV

Cite this article as: Clotilde Boust, Anne Wohlgelmuth “DATABASE : Pigment image database under UV and IR radiations -part 2 raw materials,” in Scientific imaging for cultural heritage / Images scientifiques pour le patrimoine, ISSN 2609-780X, 13/09/2017,

DATABASE : Pigments under UV and IR radiations

Scientific photography for cultural heritage : pigment image database under UV and IR radiations

Several pigments/colorants were registred using Hasselblad photography imaging under several radiations, from UV (365 nm) to IR (780-1000 nm). We obtained several images :

  • VIS : normal image, in visible domain under visible light (380-780 nm;
  • REF_UV_UV : reflection in UV domain under UV radiations (360-400);
  • UVFC : image treatment of REF_UV_UV with VIS to obtain false color lisible image
  • FLUO_UV_VIS : fluorescence of material under UV (pic 365 nm) seen in visible domain;
  • REF_NIR_NIR : infrared reflection under near infrared light (780-1000 nm);
  • IRFC : image treatment of REF_NIR_NIR with VIS to obtain false color lisible image
  • FLUO_VIS_IR : fluorescence under visible light (pic 690 nm)  in near infrared domain (780-1000 nm);

Those images are used to find out some possible pigments and colorants, because some of them have  specific spectral responses in IR or UV, or with fluorescence.

We provide FORS (400 nm-1000nm) reflection spectra made with Ruby Still non contact spectrometer for information.

Be aware that color material identification is usually completed with microscopic observations and FluoX analysis but could need much more complex investigations.

We share our image database hoping it could help the community of cultural heritage. In order to use them, please understand that the colors are indicatives as your artwork materials, binding and aging could differ.


Web page :

Explanations :


    download pdf :


    Pinkcolor Very lightfast, < 38 µm
    Pinkcolor Deep Very lightfast, (contains lead) < 38 µm
    Natural Cinnabar from China, mercuric sulphide
    Cinnabar, ne chu piao, 20 – 50 µm
    Red Jasper semi-transparent, 0 – 120 µm
    Côte d’Azur Violet light caput mortuum
    Brown-Red Slate from Austria
    Gold Ochre from Saxony, Germany deep brown-gold. Very nd grind Burgundy Red Ochre Medium from France, 0 – 80 µm
    Burgundy Red Ochre Deep from France, ne, 0 – 80 µm
    Spanish Red Ochre Bauxite, extra ne, 0 – 63 µm
    Brown Earth from Otranto. Italy, pea-ore, sanguine-rust brown, stand. grind. Iseo Brown reddish brown umber, from Italy
    Red Maroccan Ochre. warm transparent red ochre, < 80 µm
    Dark Red Moroccan Ochre < 80 µm


    download pdf :


    Egyptian Green Copper glass, 40 – 120  µm
    Ploss Blue. Sky-blue crystals of very brilliant luminosity
    Malachite natural, extra ne, 0 – 80  µm, intense color
    Malachite MP extra ne, 0 – 63 µm, intense color
    Chrysocolla, Bluish green, copper silicate, 0 – 120 µm
    Malachite Fibres, ne 0 – 80 µm
    Malachite Arabian, ne, 0 – 80 µm
    Turquoise sky-blue, ne 0 – 80 µm
    Atacamite, ne 0 – 80 µm
    Cavansite, extra ne, 0 – 40 µm
    Verona Green Earth, standard, genuine earth pigment, 0 – 120 µm Bavarian Green Earth, 0 – 120, similar to Bohemian Green Earth Russian Green Earth, ne, natural, extra ne, 0 – 63 µm
    Aegirine, ne, 0 – 63  µm, dark green earth
    Florentine Green, 60 – 120 µm, washed
    Andeer green, ne, 0 – 200 µm, Green Gneiss from Andeer, Switzerland Green Jasper, crystalline bluish green, 0 – 120 µm
    Celadonite, green earth, from the Côte d’Azur, France
    Copper Resinate, transparent copper green


    download pdf :


    Lead Tin Yellow, light, < 38 µm, light lemon changed hue, contains lead, toxic
    Lead Tin Yellow deep, changed hue, < 38 µm, contains lead, toxic
    Lead Tin Yellow II, yellow lead glass, 0 – 63 µm, contains lead, toxic
    Naples Yellow, from Paris, < 50 µm, contains lead, toxic
    Orpiment, genuine, King s Yellow, coarse, 175 µm
    Realgar, genuine, red orpiment, 175 µm
    Epidote, yellow-green earth
    Jarosite, clear yellow ochre, < 100 µm
    Taunus Ochre, light, Ochre, from the Taunus region, Germany Burgundy Yellow Ochre, from France, 0 – 80 µm
    Yellow Moroccan Ochre, < 80 µm
    Elba Brown Ochre Deep, dark brown, fine grind, from Tuscany


    download pdf :


    Smalt, very fine, according to a recipe from 1820, < 80 µm
    Egyptian Blue, blue copper silicate, <120 µm
    HAN-Blue, fine, the blue of ancient China, 0 – 40 µm
    HAN-Purple, fine, < 40 µm, color of ancient China
    Blue Verditer, synthetic Azurite, blue bice, cendres blue
    Blue Bice, Copper Calcium Carbonate, CCC
    Blue Azurite MP, pale, 38 – 63 µm
    Azurite natural fine, 0 – 80 µm
    Sodalite, fine, 0 – 80 µm , bluish-purple gray pigment
    Lapis Lazuli, grayish-blue, natural ultramarine
    Lapis Lazuli, pure, Fra Angelico Blue
    Lapis Lazuli from Chile, 0 – 20 µm


    download pdf :


    Galena, Gray-black lustrous powder, contains lead, toxic
    Pyrite Powder Fine, 0 – 80 µm
    Antimony, stibium, gray metallic, baroque, 0 – 200 µm
    Gray from Mels, Switzerland
    Onyx black, 0 – 120 µm
    Ivory Black, Genuine
    Ivory Black, own production
    Peach Black, genuine, matt black
    Grape Black, genuine, bluish-black
    Cherry Black, genuine, brownish-black
    Atramentum, ink stone, black
    Bistre, genuine beechwood soot
    Sepia, from adriatic cuttlefish, raw, dry, 0 – 120 µm


    download pdf :


    Nero Bernino, gray-green slate, Bernina (Switzerland), 0-120 µm
    Alba Albula, buff white colored chalk, from Albula, Switzerland Sugar Dolomite, 0 – 120 µm
    Rhodochrosite, pale-coral pink, 0 – 120 µm
    Slate Green from Mels, Switzerland
    Jade, very fine, Russian, < 63 µm
    Rock Crystal, powder, 0 – 63 µm
    Eggshell White, fine, white powder
    Fuchsite, extra fine, 0 – 100 µm
    Obsidian black, natural glass from Mexico
    Selenite, Marienglas, gypseous spar, from Cyprus, 0 – 80 µm
    Aragonite, extra white, fine grind, 0 – 63 µm


    download pdf :


    Cadmium Orange No. 0 very light, very lightfast, opaque
    Cadmium Orange No. 0.5, light, very lightfast, opaque
    Cadmium Orange No. 1, medium, very lightfast, opaque
    Cadmium Orange No. 2, vermilion, very lightfast, opaque Cadmium Red No. 1, light, very lightfast, opaque
    Cadmium Red No. 2, medium, very lightfast, opaque
    Cadmium Red No. 3, dark, very lightfast, opaque
    Cadmium Red No. 4, bluish purple, very lightfast, opaque

    Cadmium Green, light, mixture of cadmium yellow and ultramarine blue
    Cadmium Green, dark, mixture of cadmium yellow and ultramarine blue

    Cadmium Yellow Lemon No.1, very lightfast, opaque
    Cadmium Yellow No. 2, very light, very lightfast, opaque Cadmium Yellow No. 4 light, very lightfast, opaque
    Cadmium Yellow No. 6, medium, very lightfast, opaque
    Cadmium Yellow No. 8, medium dark, very lightfast, opaque Cadmium Yellow No. 9, dark, very lightfast, opaque


    download pdf :


    Phthalo Green dark, bluish
    Phthalo Green, yellowish lightfast
    Green Earth, light yellowish, German
    Bohemian Green Earth, genuine, brilliant hue, extra fine grinding
    Green Earth from Verona, genuine, pure
    Green Earth from France, light
    Verona Green Earth enhanced with Viridian Green
    Vagone Green Earth, enhanced with Prussian blue and chrome oxide green
    Nicosia Green, mixed green earths with cobalt blue,enhanced
    Bohemian Green Earth, imitation, enhanced earth color, yellowish green light
    Verona Green Earth, imitation, mixed green earths
    Cobalt Green, contains cobalt
    Cobalt Oxide Green Blue, deep turquoise, contains cobalt
    Cobalt Bottle Green, dark green, contains cobalt
    Cobalt Green, bluish A, contains cobalt
    Pastel Green, Victoria Green, bright, very lightfast, transparent
    Chrome Oxide Green, cool green, opaque
    Chrome Oxide Green DD, pure, intensive color, very fine
    Viridian Green, hydrated chrome oxide, bright, transparent
    Permanent Green, mixture, lightfast
    Malachite, synthetic, contains copper
    Verdigris, synthetic,coarse bluish green powder, contains copper
    Cadmium Green, light, mixture of cadmium yellow and ultramarine blue
    Cadmium Green, dark, mixture of cadmium yellow and ultramarine blue
    Ultramarine Green, genuine, historic pigment
    Studio Pigment Light Green, synthetic organic pigment and filler
    Studio Pigment Dark Green, synthetic organic pigment and filler


    download pdf :


    Cadmium Yellow Lemon No. 1, very lightfast, opaque
    Cadmium Yellow No. 2, very light, very lightfast, opaque Cadmium Yellow No. 4 light, very lightfast, opaque
    Cadmium Yellow No. 6, medium, very lightfast, opaque
    Cadmium Yellow No. 8, medium dark, very lightfast, opaque Cadmium Yellow No. 9, dark, very lightfast, opaque
    Permanent Yellow light, organic pigment
    Permanent Yellow medium, organic pigment Irgazin
    Yellow greenish, transparent Isoindole
    Yellow, organic pigment
    Indian Yellow, imitation, contains nickel
    Pyramid-Yellow medium, clear warm yellow
    Brilliant Yellow, Hansa yellow
    Isoindolinon Yellow, greenish
    Irgazin Yellow light orange
    Studio Yellow, Hansa yellow
    Paliotol Yellow-Orange, brilliant orange
    Massicot, Litharge, yellow lead oxide, litharge, pieces, contains lead, toxic
    Bristol Yellow pale Naples yellow imitation, lead-free
    Bristol Yellow, medium, Naples yellow imitation, lead-free
    Naples Yellow, lemon, genuine, contains lead, toxic
    Naples Yellow, dark, genuine, contains lead, toxic
    Naples Yellow, reddish, contains lead, toxic
    Bristol-Yellow, reddish, Naples yellow reddish imitation, lead-free Nickel-Titanium Yellow, artificial mineral pigment
    Nickel-Titanium Yellow, greenish, artificial mineral pigment Praseodym Yellow, pale
    Titanium Orange, golden-orange
    Cobalt Yellow aureolin
    Antinomy Red, golden antinomy sulphide
    Yellow Zircon, Zircon-Praseodymium-Silicate
    Intensive Yellow transparent
    Bismuth-Vanadate Yellow lemon, very lightfast
    Studio Pigment Yellow, synthetic organic pigment and filler
    Studio Pigment Egg Yolk Yellow, synthetic organic pigment and filler
    Studio Pigment Yellow Sun Gold, synthetic organic pigment and filler


    download pdf :



    Phthalo Blue, Primary blue
    Phthalo Blue royal blue, Heliogen Blue
    Phthalo Blue reddish, Heliogen Blue
    Phthalo Blue, very lightfast
    Idanthren Blue, deep blue
    Dioxazine Violet, halogen-free
    Thioindigo Red, lightfast
    Cinquasia Violet RT 201 D, reddish violet
    Alizarine violet, bright medium violet
    Indigo, genuine, Indian, powder, Indigofera tinctoria
    Indigo Blue Lake, medium blue, natural blue dye
    Indigo Red-Violet, natural blue pigment
    Maya Blue, genuine, indigo in a silicic crystal matrix
    Ultramarine Blue, very dark, synthetic mineral pigment Ultramarine Blue, dark, synthetic mineral pigment
    Ultramarine Blue, reddish, synthetic mineral pigment Ultramarine Blue, greenish extra, synthetic mineral pigment Ultramarine Blue, greenish light, synthetic mineral pigment Ultramarine Blue, light, synthetic mineral pigment
    Ultramarine Violet, medium, bluish, mixture
    Ultramarine Violet, reddish, dark
    Ultramarine Violet, light reddish, synthetic mineral pigment Prussian Blue LUX also Milori blue, Berlin blue
    Manganese Violet, synthetic mineral pigment
    Copper Blue, very light turquoise blue
    Zirconium Cerulean Blue, semi-opaque, light blue
    Cobalt Blue Dark, synthetic mineral pigment
    Cobalt Blue Dark, greenish, slightly lighter and more greenish than 45700
    Cobalt Blue, Sapporo
    Cobalt Blue Medium, opaque
    Cobalt Blue Pale, synthetic mineral pigment
    Cobalt Blue light, synthetic mineral pigment
    Cobalt Cerulean blue
    Cobalt Blue, greenish
    Cobalt Blue Turquoise, light
    Cobalt Blue Turquoise, dark
    Cobalt violet, dark, semi-opaque
    Cobalt Violet brilliant, dark < 75
    Cobalt Violet, light brilliant
    Studio Pigment Sky Blue, synthetic organic pigment and filler Studio pigment dark blue, synthetic organic pigment and filler Studio pigment violet, synthetic organic pigment and filler


Cite this article as: Clotilde Boust, Anne Wohlgelmuth “DATABASE : Pigments under UV and IR radiations,” in Scientific imaging for cultural heritage / Images scientifiques pour le patrimoine, ISSN 2609-780X, 18/08/2017,

Fiber Optics Reflectance Spectra (FORS) of Pictorial Materials in the 270-1700 nm range

Le laboratoire  de restauration de l’Opificio delle Pietre Dure et le laboratoire de spectroscopie appliquée de l’institut de physique appliquée “Nello Carrara” ont mis en ligne les spectres de réflectance UV/VIS/IR des principaux pigments de peinture. Il faut s’inscrire et les courbes ne sont pas téléchargeables mais c’est une vraie mine d’informations pour la reconnaissance des matériaux et issu d’un travail collectif partagé.

source :

This database presents a collection of reflectance spectra in the 270-820 nm, 350-1000 nm, and 980-1700 nm ranges acquired on several paint layer structures that were built with materials selected from those most commonly used both in the past and in the present day. The pictorial materials were painted out onto small wood panels prepared with a traditional ground of gypsum and animal glue. They were applied as pure pigment/dye or as a mixture of different pigments/dyes with different binding media. Some of these pictorial materials were also applied as transparent glazes over opaque paint layers or metal leaf.

This spectra collection focuses on providing information that permits recognition of the spectral features of several pictorial materials. The spectra may be enlarged by directly clicking on the displayed graph. To date the spectroscopic data cannot be downloaded via the spectra pages.

This database is part of the continuing collaboration between the Restoration Laboratory of the Opificio delle Pietre Dure and the Applied Spectroscopy Laboratory of the Institute of Applied Physics “Nello Carrara” of the Italian National Research Council.

Imaging techniques for microanalysis of Paleolithic mobiliary art

Notre article sur la comparaison des techniques d’imagerie pour l’étude du mobilier Paléolithique est paru !

Journal of Archaeological Science: Reports

Volume 10, December 2016, Pages 903–909

Comparison of imaging techniques used in the microanalysis of Paleolithic mobiliary art

  • Nicolas Mélard,
  • Clotilde Boust
  • Gabrielle Cogné,
  • Anne Maigret

Archaeologists have been interested in the survey and analysis of mobile works of Paleolithic art since their discovery during excavations in the 19th century.

Examples of mobile art — made of stone, bone, antler, ivory or clay — are often found as weathered fragments with surface wear that makes the reading of these objects difficult. Since the 19th century, archaeologists have used photography, direct tracing, and oblique light to decipher the marks of the artists. Modern tools and techniques for analysis have continued to evolve. Since the early 1980s, optical and electron microscopy have been used in the analysis of the finest traces. From the 1990s on, 3D laser scanning (30 years after its invention) has been used in all fields of archaeological research. Many techniques followed, quickly evolving.

Today, we face an explosion of the techniques in the field, which offer more and more precision and rapidity that can be useful in archaeological research if applied in the service of well-reasoned lines of inquiry.

This study focuses on two engraved bones from the Magdalenian period. The main aim of the study was to understand the objects, their history and role in the prehistoric context, and their means of production. Ultimately this study informed the conservation, handling, and interpretation of the objects in the museum environment.

A secondary result of the study is an evaluation of the means of analysis in research on cultural heritage. Over the years many objects have been the subject of high-resolution digital photography, infrared photography, ultra-violet photography, RTI, digital microscopy, and microtopographical scans based on axial chromatism.

The feedback of our experience of ten years of 3D approaches provides insight into the evolution of devices and software, and indicates which innovations are of the most value to the field of archaeological study and how their use in combination may yield optimal results.


  • Paleolithic;
  • Mobile art;
  • Archaeoscience;
  • Engravings;
  • 3D scanning;
  • Digital microscopy;
  • Technology



Surface scanning – New Perspectives for Archaeological Data Management and Methodology?

Documentation and publication of palaeolithic objects such as lithic artefacts, bone tools or mobile art is done since
decades mainly by drawings. These drawings are an indispensable part of scientific research and methodology.
Teaching drawing techniques is even integrated into the educational program at university level. Although creating a
drawing is very time consuming and requires training, until now it has not been replaced by photography. Taking a
picture of a palaeolithic object is obviously even more difficult than to make a drawing. To visualize all scientific
relevant features of an object in just one shot is not possible. The cost/performance ratio for drawings is therefore better
than for photography. Photos are used mainly to present objects to a broad public. Within the scientific community
drawings are the most frequent medium of information transfer.
Surface scanning of palaeolithic objects has the potential to substitute drawings as medium for scientific information
transfer. Polygon meshes are of high scientific value because they allow an objective record of the object and its digital
measuring. Once recorded, the digital data file can be transferred via internet and allows direct access to objects.
Prehistoric archaeology will have to adapt to this new recording technology and in the future data bases like NESPOS
which allow world wide access.
Key words: surface scanning, archaeological data management, documentation of palaeolithic artefacts, NESPOS