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Keywords:

  • Raman spectroscopy;
  • ancient art;
  • pigments;
  • Mogul;
  • Rajput

Abstract

We report the first Raman spectroscopic investigations of medieval Indian art of 17th century. Three miniature paintings, belonging to Mogul and Rajput schools from the collections of the Madras Museum, were investigated by micro-Raman spectroscopy using different excitation wavelengths. Many areas in the paintings exhibited rich spectra containing several intense Raman bands. The Raman bands were assigned on the basis of the reported reference spectra of the pigments. Evidences for the presence of massicot, red-lead, lead-white, vermilion, litharge, Indian yellow and anatase are found. In addition, tentative assignments of some of the Raman bands to atacamite and orpiment are also made. The present studies suggest that several mineral-based unique pigments were popular among the Indian artists of this period. Copyright © 2010 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.