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Keywords:

  • micro-Raman spectroscopy;
  • Imperial Palace;
  • colored drawing;
  • pigments;
  • archaeology

Abstract

Four ancient colored drawings (CDs), namely in black, blue, white and green, of Wuying Hall in the Imperial Palace, China, were analyzed by micro-Raman spectroscopy (MRS) in combination with energy dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (EDX) in order to identify the pigments in each case. The pigments lampblack (a pigment based on amorphous carbon), ultramarine blue/lapis lazuli (Na8[Al6Si6O24]Sn), dolomite (CaMg(CO3)2), emerald green (Cu(C2H3O2)2·3Cu(AsO2)2), gypsum (CaSO4·2H2O) were detected in the CDs, and these will be useful with regard to the restoration of the paintings at Wuying Hall. Furthermore, it is important to take into account the dating of some rare pigments, i.e., ultramarine blue and emerald green, in order to validate that there was a fire that destroyed more than 30 houses of Wuying Hall in 1869 (Tong-Zhi, 8th year of Qing Dynasty). The results demonstrate that micro-Raman spectroscopy can provide valuable information for the characterization, restoration and preservation of the cultural relic. Copyright © 2006 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.