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XRF and reflectance hyperspectral imaging on a 15th century illuminated manuscript: combining imaging and quantitative analysis to understand the artist's technique

Valérie Gontero-Lauze
Article dans une revue
Heritage Science 6:11
2018
n° ISBN: 
2050-7445

Co-auteurs : Laurence de Viguerie; Sophie Rochut; Matthias Alfeld; Philippe Walter; Sophie Astier; Florence Boulc'h.

We present here the combination of in situ non invasive techniques to investigate a precious 15th century illuminated manuscript of Petrarch’s work, De remediis utriusque fortunae held in the Méjanes library in Aix-en-Provence (France). X-Ray fluorescence spectroscopy, mapping and point analysis, and visible reflectance hyperspectral imaging allow an unprecedented analysis of this manuscript. They provide new clues for its attribution by revealing a partly hidden coat of arms and describing the illuminator’s palette and techniques in detail. We reveal the identity of the first possessor of this manuscript, Tanguy IV du Châtel, known as a 15th century bibliophile close to Louis XI. This information is a further element contributing to the attribution of the richly illuminated folio 6 of this manuscript to François Le Barbier. Pigments and dyes used for this folio have been investigated with particular emphasis on the study of the superimposed colours thus providing a better understanding of the artist’s technique and know-how.

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