A Comparative Study of Two Albanian Post-Byzantine Icons Attributed to Simoni i Ardenices

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Enrico Franceschi
Dion Nole
Stefano Vassallo


Aims: The present study is part of a project concerning the characterisation of a limited number of selected Albanian Byzantine and post-Byzantine icons, through the identification of pigments, of painting technique and the state of conservation of the artworks. The Albanian iconographers produced an extraordinary amount of icons from the 14th till the 19th century, and over six thousand of them are kept in the Museum of Medieval Art of Korça (Albania). This paper refers to the results obtained in the study of two artworks, the first one by Simoni i Ardenices an important Albanian painter of XVII century, and the second one attributed to him.

Study Design:  The present work is part of a more general study concerning Albanian Byzantine and post-Byzantine icons.

Place and Duration of Study: Museum of Medieval Art of Korça, Albania, between June 2008 and July 2009.

Methodology: The work was conducted by non-destructive methods, X-ray fluorescence, visible light reflectance spectrophotometry and UV fluorescence analysis, according to a systematic procedure developed in the same Chemical Physical Laboratory for Cultural Heritage. A number of areas, for each painting, were chosen in order to carry out the measurements. With this procedure, we could identify the inorganic pigments from their characteristic features. Moreover, the study of the chemical physical properties of paintings is of fundamental importance for any accurate restoration intervention. 

Results and Conclusion: The present work, concerning the study of two icons of the second half of 17th century by Simoni i Ardenices, has allowed us to identify the painting technique and the palette used in these works of art. Moreover, the areas of the paintings in which old restorations have been made have also been identified.

Albanian post-byzantine icons, archaeometry, pigments, X-ray fluorescence, reflectance spectrophotometry, UV fluorescence.

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How to Cite
Franceschi, E., Nole, D., & Vassallo, S. (2018). A Comparative Study of Two Albanian Post-Byzantine Icons Attributed to Simoni i Ardenices. Asian Journal of Applied Chemistry Research, 2(2), 1-18. https://doi.org/10.9734/ajacr/2018/v2i229668
Original Research Article