ARTAX, X-ray fluorescence system

Non-Destructive Analysis of Paintings

The portable μ-XRF spectrometer ARTAX allows a spatially resolved element analysis of objects of art – directly on site. It enables a non-destructive characterization of differences within finest structures.

In this application example analyses were carried out on the painting “The Holy Family“ by Piero di Cosimo. It had to be examined whether discoloration or degradation of blue pigments took place in parts of the work of art. For this purpose the elemental composition of relevant areas of the painting was determined. The results point to the conclusions that:

  • The discoloration of smalt and ultramarine cannot be attributed
    to the so-called “blue diseases”.
  • Changes in the painting due to degenerative effects of other pigments can be excluded because of the material-technical evidence.

Download the full lab report XRF 420 (PDF)