Investigation of the gilding technique in two post-byzantine wall paintings using micro-analytical techniques
Spectrochim. Acta, Part B , Volume 59 p. 1593- 1599
The main churches of two important monasteries in Thessalia, Central Greece, are decorated with wall paintings that hail from the post-Byzantine period. The mural decoration of the main church of the St. Byssarionas Monastery at Doussiko has been attributed to the iconographer Tzortzis. The same painter is believed to have also operated in the main church of the Transfiguration Monastery at the monastic community of Meteora. The light microscopic (LM) examination of the cross-sections of samples taken from the gilded areas of the wall paintings, together with the direct temperature resolved mass spectrometric (DTMS) and scanning electron microscopy-energy dispersive X-ray spectroscopic (SEM-EDX) analysis, revealed a further resemblance of the materials and the methodology employed. The gold leaf was applied to the paintings by means of a mordant, which contains linseed oil mixed with a lead-containing dryer and an earth pigment or clay. The present study can constitute additional evidence to reinforce the idea that the two churches may have been painted by the same painter or workshop.