This paper describes the first systematic analysis of 19th century Japanese coloured photographs. This unique Japanese technique followed the diffusion of photography taken up by Westerners. The photos were coloured by the painters of the School of Yokohama from ukiyo-e prints ateliers and were sold to travellers returning home as a souvenir from Japan. Although there are several museum collections throughout the Western world, this artistic technique has never been thoroughly investigated, due above all to the fragility of the artworks. In this study 22 photographs and a photo album cover from the Museum of Cultures (Lugano, Switzerland) were analysed by non-invasive infrared spectroscopy in order to identify the painting materials. A preliminary survey was carried out on reference pigments used in Japan in the 19th century, some of which are the same as those used in Western Europe, but many are particular to the Japanese school of arts. The reference pigments were analysed after extraction procedures taken from traditional recipes. Modern pigments such as “aniline colours” were also considered. The results provided insights into the painting materials, for example identifying Prussian blue, gofun, yamahaji, enju, shio, and rhodamine. The data confirmed the use of albumen paper and detected the application of a beeswax-based varnish for conservation purposes.

Non-invasive identification of pigments in Japanese coloured photographs

Rampazzi L.
Writing – Original Draft Preparation
;
Brunello V.
Investigation
;
Campione F. P.
Conceptualization
;
Corti C.
Investigation
;
Geminiani L.
Investigation
;
Recchia S.
Writing – Review & Editing
;
Luraschi M.
Writing – Original Draft Preparation
2020-01-01

Abstract

This paper describes the first systematic analysis of 19th century Japanese coloured photographs. This unique Japanese technique followed the diffusion of photography taken up by Westerners. The photos were coloured by the painters of the School of Yokohama from ukiyo-e prints ateliers and were sold to travellers returning home as a souvenir from Japan. Although there are several museum collections throughout the Western world, this artistic technique has never been thoroughly investigated, due above all to the fragility of the artworks. In this study 22 photographs and a photo album cover from the Museum of Cultures (Lugano, Switzerland) were analysed by non-invasive infrared spectroscopy in order to identify the painting materials. A preliminary survey was carried out on reference pigments used in Japan in the 19th century, some of which are the same as those used in Western Europe, but many are particular to the Japanese school of arts. The reference pigments were analysed after extraction procedures taken from traditional recipes. Modern pigments such as “aniline colours” were also considered. The results provided insights into the painting materials, for example identifying Prussian blue, gofun, yamahaji, enju, shio, and rhodamine. The data confirmed the use of albumen paper and detected the application of a beeswax-based varnish for conservation purposes.
2020
2020
Albumen paper; Coloured photographs; FTIR reflection spectroscopy; Japanese photographs; Non-invasive analysis; Pigments characterization
Rampazzi, L.; Brunello, V.; Campione, F. P.; Corti, C.; Geminiani, L.; Recchia, S.; Luraschi, M.
File in questo prodotto:
File Dimensione Formato  
MicrochemicalJournal_2020.pdf

non disponibili

Tipologia: Versione Editoriale (PDF)
Licenza: Copyright dell'editore
Dimensione 12.2 MB
Formato Adobe PDF
12.2 MB Adobe PDF   Visualizza/Apri   Richiedi una copia

I documenti in IRIS sono protetti da copyright e tutti i diritti sono riservati, salvo diversa indicazione.

Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11383/2096184
Citazioni
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.pmc??? ND
  • Scopus 10
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.isi??? 10
social impact