The Altar of Repose - Analytical Methodology: do mais subido e gemado - artifices for gilding


For all noble materials, early artistic culture found varied forms, techniques and supports of application. Among these materials, gold has always been used by the most diverse arts, from the most learned to those of the artisan forum. For reasons of varied order, in the Modern Age, Portugal ended up adopting one of its most significant artistic expressions for the use of gold: the Gilded and Carved Wood. Starting from an eighteenth-century work of art called Urna do Santissimo in carved wood, gilded and polychromed, we were given the possibility of performing laboratory analysis to the gold leaf analysis by scanning electron microscopy and elemental analysis by energy-dispersive X-ray spectroscopy: SEM-EDX. These laboratory works opens research paths on the origin, technique and quality of the materials and, comparatively, give clues about the technical, geographical and temporal confluence of the related production workshops. The information resulting from these processes are essential to a true identification of the works of art, in this case, the Altar of Repose, preserved in the Museum of Aveiro, Santa Joana (Portugal).

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Arts & Humanities - Other Topics


Cardoso, MDN; Martins, MA

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