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Anal Bioanal Chem. 2008 May;391(1):433-41. doi: 10.1007/s00216-008-2001-4. Epub 2008 Mar 29.

Noninvasive and nondestructive NMR, Raman and XRF analysis of a Blaeu coloured map from the seventeenth century.

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Department Analytical Chemistry, University of the Basque Country, P.O. Box 644, 48080, Bilbao, Spain.


A complete multianalytical study of a hand-coloured map from the seventeenth century is presented. The pigments atacamite, massicot, minium, gypsum, carbon black and vermilion were determined by means of XRF and Raman spectroscopy. The state of conservation of the cellulosic support was monitored by means of unilateral NMR. The analysis was nondestructive and noninvasive, and thus several spectra were collected from the same areas, yielding more reliable results without damaging the artwork. The role of copper pigments in the oxidation processes observed in the cellulosic support is discussed, as well as the possible provenance of atacamite as a raw material instead of as a degradation product of malachite.

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