Kalypso Milanou, 2001
Wednesday 4 March 2009, by Icon Network
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Pigment analysis and other scientific methods
Benaki Museum research programme. Pigment analysis and other scientific methods on three icons dating in the 13th century.
The Benaki Museum icons and paintings conservation department participated to a research program consisting on the study and conservation of three important icons dating in the 13th century, the two of them belonging to the Benaki Museum collection and the third to a private collection in Athens.
The two Benaki Museum icons are the following:
The icons of “Virgin with child surrounded by Saints” (no. 32650),
Dimensions 85 X 64 cm. On the Central composition we distinguish the
Theotokos holding the Child on her right hand, on the upper side there is a
“Deisis with angels” and on the vertical sides there are Apostles and Saints. The particularity of the icon is the relief of the hallows and of the
frame surrounding the three sides of the icon. For the first colored layer
“Kampos” the iconographer used black pigment.
The Icon belonging to a private
collection is a double sided icon
representing Saint Nicolas on the first
side and the “Virgin Hodegitria” on
the second side. Dimensions 76 X
The information concerning the technology of those 13th century icons, are very precious for the research on objects of a similar value. The technical and the constitutive materials were studied by using photographic methods, observation of the paint layer through binocular and analysis of the pigments through electronic microanalysis of stromatography samples.
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