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Eugenia P. Tomasini, Carlos Rúa Landa, Gabriela Siracusano and Marta S. Maier Atacamite as a natural pigment in a South American colonial polychrome sculpture from the late XVI century Journal of Raman Spectroscopy 44

Version of Record online: 26 DEC 2012 | DOI: 10.1002/jrs.4234

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This work shows the great potential of Raman spectroscopy in the characterization of pigments and their source. This work presents a Raman investigation combined with scanning electron microscopy-energy dispersive spectroscopy analysis of the green pigment and the gilding technique in an Andean polychrome sculpture of the 16th century. Mineral atacamite was identified as the green pigment used in the decoration of the veil of the sculpture. Identification of a preparation layer of gypsum and a layer of bole to attach the gold leaf indicated the technique of water gilding, traditionally used for wood surfaces.

This is the first report on the use of atacamite as a pigment in colonial art.

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