M Pérez-Alonso

Universidad del País Vasco / Euskal Herriko Unibertsitatea, Bilbao, Basque Country, Spain

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Publications (11)25.16 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy is a powerful analytical technique to study organic materials. However, in Cultural Heritage, since the sample under analysis is always a complicated matrix of several materials, data analysis performed through peak-by-peak comparisons of sample spectra with those of standard compounds is a tedious method that does not always provide good results. To overcome this problem, a chemometric model based on principal component analysis was developed to classify and identify organic binding media in artworks. The model allows the differentiation of five families of binders: drying oils, waxes, proteins, gums, and resins, taking into account the absorption bands in two characteristic spectral windows: C-H stretching and carbonyl band. This new methodology was applied in the characterization of binders in three kinds of artworks: papers of historical, archeological, and artistic value, easel paintings, and polychromed stone-based sculptures.
    Analytical and Bioanalytical Chemistry 02/2011; 399(10):3601-11. · 3.66 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Non-destructive and non-invasive micro-Raman fibre optic and micro-XRF analyses were performed to study a wallpaper from the beginning of the 19th century. The complementarity of these two non-destructive techniques is shown in this work. The analysed artwork is considered one of the most beautiful wallpapers ever manufactured according to the catalogues and books; it is known as Chasse de Compiègne, manufactured by Jacquemart, Paris, in 1812. During the analysis, an unexpected pigment was detected by both analytical techniques: lead-tin yellow type II. This pigment was used until ca. 1750, when other yellow pigments replaced it, thus it is very difficult to find it in paintings afterwards. Together with this pigment, red lead, Prussian blue, brochantite, yellow iron oxide, calcium carbonate, vermilion, carbon black of animal origin (bone black), lead white, and raw and burnt sienna were also determined by combining the analytical information provided by both techniques. A possible degradation of brochantite to antlerite is also discussed.
    Analytical and Bioanalytical Chemistry 03/2007; 387(3):847-60. · 3.66 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: We present an overview of the application of some vibrational spectroscopic techniques (Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) and Raman) to industrial archaeology in the field of cultural heritage, particularly centered on the wallpaper industry. Both techniques present a better performance for cost than other set-ups applied to the analysis of multilayer artworks on cellulose supports. To illustrate the applicability of these techniques, we present examples of different decorative wallpapers from the whole nineteenth century and compare the results obtained with other artworks from the same century.Raman spectroscopy was mainly used in pigment determination with the help of FTIR spectroscopy. The study of the binder was better achieved using FTIR spectroscopy, and FTIR could also be used to evaluate semi-quantitatively the degree of the degradation of the cellulose.The wallpaper industry was a very prosperous sector in the nineteenth century that followed the same pattern of the other crafts from the same century, applying the new pigments available in that period. Antique pigments (e.g., minium, red oxides and carbon black) were determined together with new ones, first synthesised during the nineteenth century (e.g., copper-arsenic pigments and ultramarine blue).We observed a transition in the use of the antique pigments to the new ones in the wallpaper items going through the century. The great transformation of the chemical industry was clearly reflected in the evolution of the wallpaper industry during that century.
    TrAC Trends in Analytical Chemistry. 01/2007;
  • Maite Pérez-Alonso, Kepa Castro, Juan Manuel Madariaga
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    ABSTRACT: This article presents the "in situ" and totally non destructive investigation of a wall painting in Santa María de Lemoniz (Biscay, Basque Country, Spain) by Raman microprobe spectroscopy 14 years after its restoration. Although no sample was allowed to be taken, it has been possible to determine the original pigments in the artwork (vermilion, red iron oxide, yellow iron oxide, carbon black, lead white), as well as some degradation products (calcium oxalate dihydrate, anhydrite). For the first time, the mechanism for the transformation of malachite into copper basic sulphates has been ascertained by the integration of Raman data with thermodynamic speciation studies. Moreover, some remarks regarding the unsuitability of the past intervention procedure with regard to the chemical stability of the artwork are made.
    Analytica chimica acta 07/2006; 571(1):121-8. · 4.31 Impact Factor
  • Maite Perez-Alonso, Kepa Castro, Juan M. Madariaga
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    ABSTRACT: During last years the application of chemical analysis to historical, artistic and archaeological specimens has gained more and more importance. The integration of scientific studies with information derived from stylistic or historic knowledge is really useful for the purposes of conservation, authentication, dating and attribution. Since the samples under examination are unique and irreplaceable the specimens must be submitted to non-destructive or at least microdestructive analysis. This work shows an overview of the state-of-the-art of vibrational spectroscopic techniques (mainly FTIR and Raman spectroscopies) as an analytical probe in artwork diagnosis, focusing on the need for specific spectra databases to perform accurate determinations. Some applications carried out by using both spectroscopic techniques will be presented.
    Current Analytical Chemistry 12/2005; 2(1):89-100. · 1.56 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Raman spectroscopy has been widely applied in the analysis of different types of artwork. This technique is sensitive, reliable, non-destructive and can be used in situ. However, there are few references in the literature regarding specific Raman spectra libraries for the field of artwork analysis. In this paper, the development of two on-line databases with Fourier transform Raman (FT-Raman; 1064 nm) and dispersive Raman (785 nm) spectra of materials used in fine art is presented; both are implemented in the e-vibrational spectroscopic databases of artists' materials database (e-VISART). The database provides not only spectra, but also information about each pigment. It must be highlighted that for each pigment or material several spectra are available from different dealers. Some of the FT-Raman spectra available in the e-VISART database have not been published until now. Some examples in which the e-VISART database has been successfully used are presented.
    Analytical and Bioanalytical Chemistry 06/2005; 382(2):248-58. · 3.66 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Raman micro-probe spectroscopy has been applied to the analysis of a non catalogued hand-crafted wallpaper during its restoration process. The analysis has been totally non-destructive without the necessity of taking any sample. The artwork showed a great chromatic palette having been detected the presence of calcium carbonate, Prussian blue, ultramarine blue, gypsum (CaSO4.2H2O), minium (Pb3O4), vermilion (HgS), chrome orange (CaCO3), chrome yellow (PbCrO4), barium sulphate and carbon black (C). From the spectroscopic analysis the date of its manufacturing has been set between 1828 and 1830, introduction of chrome yellow and orange, as well as artificial ultramarine blue, and 1840, when continuous industrial wallpapers were extensively manufactured in Europe.
    Spectrochimica Acta Part A Molecular and Biomolecular Spectroscopy 11/2004; 60(12):2919-24. · 1.98 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: In this work the analysis of a wallpaper from 1812 that was found in a palace in the Basque Country (Spain) is presented. The wallpaper represents a beautiful view of Paris and it is considered one of the most important wallpapers ever manufactured. The determination of the pigments present in the work was achieved using a Raman microprobe spectrometer, resulting in a completely non-destructive analysis. All the colour shades observed in the wallpaper were manufactured with the pigments red, iron oxide yellow, iron oxide Prussian blue, Scheele's green, minium (Pb3O4), CaCO3, lead white, carbon black, vermilion (HgS), raw sienna and burnt sienna. Copyright © 2004 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
    Journal of Raman Spectroscopy 07/2004; 35(8‐9):704 - 709. · 2.68 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: This work reports the use of a portable Raman microprobe spectrometer for the analysis of bulk and decaying compounds in carbonaceous materials such as stones, mortars and wall paintings. The analysed stones include limestone, dolomite and carbonaceous sandstone, gypsum and calcium oxalate, both mono- and dihydrated, being the main inorganic degradation products detected. Mortars include bulk phases with pure gypsum, calcite and mixtures of both or with sand, soluble salts being the most important degradation products. The pigments detected in several wall paintings include Prussian blue, iron oxide red, iron oxide yellow, vermilion, carbon black and lead white. Three different decaying processes have been characterised in the mortars of the wall paintings: (a) a massive absorption of nitrates that reacted with calcium carbonate and promoted the unbinding of pigment grains, (b) the formation of black crusts in the vault of the presbytery and (c) the thermodecomposition of pigments due to a fire.
    Analytical and Bioanalytical Chemistry 06/2004; 379(1):42-50. · 3.66 Impact Factor
  • M. Pérez-Alonso, K. Castro, M. Álvarez, J.M. Madariaga
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    ABSTRACT: Raman spectroscopy with portable fiber optics microprobe, FT-IR spectroscopy and ion chromatography have been applied to the study of mortars and wall paintings in the church of Santa Marı́a de Hermo (Asturias, North of Spain) before the restoration works. This scientific analysis was performed to compare with a diagnosis report based on restorer’s expertise. The church showed problems of damp as well as clear evidences of flora, fungus and mould presence. The combination of both vibrational spectroscopic techniques made it possible to determine the chromatic palette of the wall paintings composed of: CaCO3, carbon black, red ochre, yellow ochre, minium and cinnabar. In addition, some decay products have been determined, such as nitrate salts, and gypsum.From the conclusions of the scientific analysis the supposedly distemper wall paintings from the XVIIth century were confirmed as frescoes and were then dated back to the XVth century by the art historians. The detachment of the pigment grains from the wall paintings is attributed to the loss of the binding power of CaCO3 by its partial transformation into calcium nitrate due to chemical reactions with nitrates. Clear evidence of nitrate migration from the graveyard behind the northern wall of the church has been determined from the quantification of nitrate salts by ion chromatography.
    Analytica Chimica Acta. 01/2004;
  • M Pérez-Alonso, K Castro, M A Olazabal, J M Madariaga
    34th International Symposium on Archaeometry, 2006-01-01, ISBN 84-7820-848-8, pags. 321-326.