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Report on analytical material characterisation of selected beehive panel paintings from the collection of Slovene Ethnographic Museum

Retko, Klara; Legan, Lea; Kavčič, Maša; Penko, Ana; Kranjc, Domen; Ropret, Polonca

This report is part of the start-up project WP6.1-Advanced materials for cultural heritage storage of EU project InnoRenew CoE (H2020 WIDESPREAD-2-Teaming; #739574). It focuses on material characterisation of start-up project’s case study – selected beehive panel paintings from the collection of Slovene Ethnographic Museum (SEM) – in order to obtain data for model samples preparation involved in the experimental task of the project, dealing with sensing techniques and sensor development for detection of mould activity in museum storage rooms, and development of novel packaging materials/systems for museum objects storage.
Four different panels were included in the study: PK1 – Unindentified scene of military violence (sln. Neugotovljiv prizor vaškega nasilja), 1836; PK2 – A fight over a pair of men’s trousers (sln. Boj za moške hlače), 1882; PK3 – The Holy spirit as a dove (sln. Sv. Duh v podobi goloba), begining of the 20th Century; PK4 – Landscape motif (sln. Motiv pokrajine), 2nd half of the 20th Century. Preliminary analyses on selected painted beehive panels in order to obtain information on material composition were performed. Surfaces of all four panels (frontal and back planes) were investigated non-invasively by means of Raman spectroscopy and reflection FTIR spectroscopy. Invasive analysis were performed on few taken samples from the painted areas of each of the panel, employing Raman spectroscopy and transmission FTIR spectroscopy. Transflection FTIR spectroscopy was additionaly performed on PK1. The results obtained gave indentification of materials employed in panel paintings’ original construction (detection of pigments and binders of paint layers), degradation products of materials present within the paintings’ compositions, and materials possibly added to the paintings later in history (e.g. varnishes, coatings applied in conservation campaigns). The results are presented in the following chapters of the report in detail.

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