Portable diffuse reflectance infrared Fourier transform (DRIFT) technique for the non-invasive identification of canvas ground: IR spectra reference collection
The method for preparing paintings varies from artist to artist. The non-destructive investigation of the preparation used to make a canvas is very important both for restoration and authentication purposes. A portable diffuse reflectance infrared Fourier transform (DRIFT) method for the non-invasive characterization of grounds in paintings is presented: with this method there is no need to sample or touch the artworks and the analysis can be performed directly on site. Sixteen of the most important canvas grounds used since the XIV to the XX century were prepared following the ancient recipes: they include grounds from Vasari, Caravaggio, and De Chirico. The grounds were analyzed by DRIFT spectroscopy and a reference spectral collection was built. The DRIFT method was then performed on the ground of a painting of Moncalvo: the infrared analysis was able to identify the ground composition. The portable DRIFT method can be applied as a non-invasive diagnostic tool in the cultural heritage field: useful information can be provided to conservators and art historians.