Raman microspectroscopy of fresco fragments from the Annunciation Church at Gorodishche at Veliky Novgorod
Faculty of Physics, Lomonosov Moscow State University, 1/2, Leninskie Gory, 119991, Moscow, Russian Federation
2 Novgorod State United Museum, 173007, Veliky Novgorod, Russian Federation
Accepted: 24 May 2021
Published online: 1 June 2021
Raman microspectroscopy is used to study fragments of the twelfth-century frescos from the Annunciation Church at Gorodishche at Veliky Novgorod. The Church was built in 1103, rebuilt on a new foundation in 1342, and almost completely destroyed by German artillery in 1941 during World War II. Original frescoes were buried under the ruins, and fragments of frescos were collected during excavations in the course of preservation and conservation works in 2016–2017. Database of the Raman spectra of minerals and published results are used to identify pigments. The set of pigments is almost identical to the set of pigments that was used in the most ancient fresco at Veliky Novgorod in the eleventh-century Sophia Cathedral. Two black pigments (amorphous carbon and graphite) are identified. The latter is detected only on dark blue fragments of frescos in which the content of blue pigment (ultramarine) is relatively low. Amorphous carbon is detected in all (except for blue) fragments of frescos. Application of reft’ (dark gray) paint, which is typical of medieval Russian wall painting, is discussed. Several spectra of an unidentified substance are similar to those obtained in the earlier study of Roman fresco fragments.
© The Author(s), under exclusive licence to Società Italiana di Fisica and Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2021