• 19th century wall paintings;
  • pigments;
  • binders;
  • Painter Manuals;
  • micro-Raman spectroscopy;
  • GC/MS;
  • Py/GC/MS

Micro-Raman spectroscopy, pyrolysis/gas chromatography–mass spectrometry (Py/GC/MS) and gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (CG/MS) were applied for the characterization of pigments and binders used in the wall paintings ascribed to the works of the prominent 19th century Macedonian iconographer, Dicho Zograph. Among numerous works attributed to him, wall paintings from three churches in the Western part of the Republic of Macedonia have been selected for pigment and binder analysis.

A rich palette of pigments, both natural/mineral and synthetic ones, were identified by micro-Raman spectroscopy. Organic material analysis evidenced the use of mixtures of proteinaceous materials (mainly animal glue and egg) with linseed oil and pine resin, while saccharide materials were excluded.

A comparison between the pigments and binders identified in this study and those suggested in Dicho's Painter's Manual (from 1851) showed that some materials had not been mentioned in his written source. Copyright © 2012 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.