The examination of works of art using in situ XRF line and area scans

Karen Trentelman*, Michel Bouchard, Monica Ganio, Carole Namowicz, Catherine Schmidt Patterson, Marc Walton

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

47 Scopus citations


Spatially resolved element distributions generated by in situ X-ray fluorescence (XRF) line and area scans are shown to provide information about worksof art whichmay notbeobtainable fromsingle spot spectra. Inaddition togeneratingvisually powerful elementmaps and line profiles, thismethod also generates a spectrum at each image point, and this large data set is available for additional analysis. When generating line and area scans in the study of works of art, the collection parameters - including X-ray tube choice, spot size, step size, and scan time - must be optimized not only to produce the best signal, but also to perform the analysis within constraints imposed to ensure the security or safety of the object. Examples of the application of this method to several classes of works of art are presented, including illuminated manuscripts, paintings, bronze sculpture, and glazed ceramics.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)159-166
Number of pages8
JournalX-Ray Spectrometry
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 2010

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Spectroscopy


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