David’s Skin Laid Bare by Spectroscopy

Camilla Ricci, Costanza Miliani, Brunetto Brunetti, and Antonio Sgamellotti of the University of Perugia, Italy, tested the system on layered samples in the laboratory to reveal complex optical reflectance phenomena, which they explain can be interpreted in terms of the nature of the compounds present (sulfates, oxalates, phosphates, resins, waxes, and proteins). Importantly, however, the system can see through the strong carbonate reflectance even though it overlaps strongly with very low signals. The lab work gave the team the confidence to test artworks in situ and to obtain important information that could assist in the conservation of historical artworks by identifying contaminants and chemical changes that have occurred in the materials.

You can read about the study in more detail in David Bradley’s news round-up on spectroscopynow.com