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7 July 2009 Visible and infrared reflectance imaging spectroscopy of paintings: pigment mapping and improved infrared reflectography
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Reflectance imaging spectroscopy, the collection of images in narrow spectral bands, has been developed for remote sensing of the Earth. In this paper we present findings on the use of imaging spectroscopy to identify and map artist pigments as well as to improve the visualization of preparatory sketches. Two novel hyperspectral cameras, one operating from the visible to near-infrared (VNIR) and the other in the shortwave infrared (SWIR), have been used to collect diffuse reflectance spectral image cubes on a variety of paintings. The resulting image cubes (VNIR 417 to 973 nm, 240 bands, and SWIR 970 to 1650 nm, 85 bands) were calibrated to reflectance and the resulting spectra compared with results from a fiber optics reflectance spectrometer (350 to 2500 nm). The results show good agreement between the spectra acquired with the hyperspectral cameras and those from the fiber reflectance spectrometer. For example, the primary blue pigments and their distribution in Picasso's Harlequin Musician (1924) are identified from the reflectance spectra and agree with results from X-ray fluorescence data and dispersed sample analysis. False color infrared reflectograms, obtained from the SWIR hyperspectral images, of extensively reworked paintings such as Picasso's The Tragedy (1903) are found to give improved visualization of changes made by the artist. These results show that including the NIR and SWIR spectral regions along with the visible provides for a more robust identification and mapping of artist pigments than using visible imaging spectroscopy alone.
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John K. Delaney, Jason G. Zeibel, Mathieu Thoury, Roy Littleton, Kathryn M. Morales, Michael Palmer, and E. René de la Rie "Visible and infrared reflectance imaging spectroscopy of paintings: pigment mapping and improved infrared reflectography", Proc. SPIE 7391, O3A: Optics for Arts, Architecture, and Archaeology II, 739103 (7 July 2009);

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