/Art and Technology
A portable system capable of identifying the period when a picture was painted, the composition of the colors used by the artist and the existence of retouches and potential falsifications. This is the system of X-ray fluorescence developed by Coppe.
Data are obtained where the piece is installed and in a nondestructive manner, as the device is kept very close to the object (with a distance of one finger from the object). This eliminates the risks of damaging the picture and makes the work less expensive, as it is not necessary to transport the art piece.
The First Mass
The first restored piece based on the information provided by the device was “A primeira missa no Brasil” (The First Mass in Brazil), by Victor Meirelles, which is part of the collection of the National Museum of Fine Arts, in Rio de Janeiro. The system developed at Coppe was also applied in the restoration of the Municipal Theater of Rio de Janeiro.
The X-ray fluorescence has been employed together with the computed radiography. The versatility is one of the advantages of the technique, which makes it possible to analyze several types of biological and mineral samplings. It is possible to identify, for example, in addition to the composition, the origin and the historical period of the artifacts, including archeological periods, and their manufacturing techniques. It is also possible to reveal falsifications based on the analysis of the chemical elements that constitute the piece.