Unveiling the use of creta in Roman plasters: analysis of clay wall paintings from Brixia (Italy)

Bugini, Roberto, Corti, Cristina, Folli, Luisa and Rampazzi, Laura (2017) Unveiling the use of creta in Roman plasters: analysis of clay wall paintings from Brixia (Italy). Archaeometry (59). pp. 84-95. ISSN 1475-4754 [Article]

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Abstract (in English)

The paper describes the analysis of a particular kind of plaster from the walls of the Roman Sanctuary (first half of the 1st century BCE) in the centre of Brixia (now Brescia, Italy), which is an outstanding example of Roman Republican architecture. The walls were plastered and painted with different patterns, imitating marble panels and curtains. Optical microscopy on thin sections, X-ray diffraction, and infrared spectroscopy were performed on several samples of the plaster in order to reveal the execution technique. The palette consisted of glauconite, celadonite, Egyptian blue, and red and yellow ochres. In some cases, an organic compound, possibly a lipidic compound, was present in the external paint layer, as a surface treatment. The plaster contains two superimposed coats: the render coat with lime binder and sandy aggregate; the finish coat with a clay fraction (illite, chlorite, kaolinite), together with calcite from slaked lime and grains of quartz, silicate and carbonate rocks. Although Vitrivius’ De Architectura reported the use of creta (clay) as daub smeared on reed vaults, the Sanctuary of Brixia represents the first documented use in Roman buildings in a painted plaster laying on a stone masonry wall.

Item Type: Article
Authors:
AuthorsEmail
Bugini, RobertoUNSPECIFIED
Corti, CristinaUNSPECIFIED
Folli, LuisaUNSPECIFIED
Rampazzi, Lauralaura.rampazzi@uninsubria.it
Languages: English
Keywords: clay plaster; Roman painting; Optical Microscopy; XRD; FT-IR; Roman architecture; plasters; walls; coatings; sanctuaries; analysis of materials; biochemical analysis; case studies; Italy; World heritage sites
Subjects: B. ARCHAEOLOGY > 02. Archaeological site and remains
C.ARCHITECTURE > 05. Building techniques
C.ARCHITECTURE > 07. Decorations and ornaments
F.SCIENTIFIC TECHNIQUES AND METHODOLOGIES OF CONSERVATION > 09. Archaeometry
F.SCIENTIFIC TECHNIQUES AND METHODOLOGIES OF CONSERVATION > 13. Chemical analysis
F.SCIENTIFIC TECHNIQUES AND METHODOLOGIES OF CONSERVATION > 28. Infra red analysis
F.SCIENTIFIC TECHNIQUES AND METHODOLOGIES OF CONSERVATION > 35. Mineralogical analysis
F.SCIENTIFIC TECHNIQUES AND METHODOLOGIES OF CONSERVATION > 37. Petrographical analysis
F.SCIENTIFIC TECHNIQUES AND METHODOLOGIES OF CONSERVATION > 60. X-Ray analysis
H.HERITAGE TYPOLOGIES > 03. Archaeological sites
M.WORLD HERITAGE CONVENTION > 03. World Heritage List
P. GEOGRAPHIC AREAS > 05. Europe
Name of monument, town, site, museum: Capitolium (Brescia, Italy)
UNESCO WHC Number: 1318
Number: 59
ISSN: 1475-4754
Depositing User: dr Laura Rampazzi
Date Deposited: 29 Jan 2018 14:16
Last Modified: 29 Jan 2018 14:16
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URI: http://openarchive.icomos.org/id/eprint/1847

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