Contemporary approach in the study of a Byzantine-illuminated manuscript on parchment
University of West Attica, Agiou Spyridonos 28, 12243, Athens, Greece
2 Department Conservation of Antiquities and Works of Art, University of West Attica, Athens, Greece
Accepted: 20 June 2021
Published online: 30 July 2021
The aim of this study was the application of image-based techniques on the texts and painted elements of a manuscript whose date of manufacture is attributable to the twelfth century. The application of the proposed methodology resulted in documentation of the ink and pigment types used, the change on writings, the repainting on some old initial letters with more artistic initials of later times, as well as, later changes on the illuminations of the manuscript. A large quantity of information was recovered applying imaging techniques in different wavelength bands, which was combined with the historical and paleographical knowledge, while some of knowledge was evaluated using targeted scanning electron microscopy with energy-dispersive X-ray (SEM/EDX) analysis of chosen inks and pigments. Furthermore, computational visual analysis was applied on the multispectral images in order to investigate the range of black inks used on an entire page of the manuscript. In this way, it is possible to identify all inks found on all pages of the manuscript. Thus, the imaging techniques can play a crucial role in the study of materials on a low budget, without expensive analytical techniques being required. The proposed methodology provided important information, not only on the characterization of the manufacture materials but on their preservation conditions, as well. The documented preservation status of the inks and pigments allowed the application of more precise conservation treatments under full control.
© The Author(s), under exclusive licence to Società Italiana di Fisica and Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2021