Pigments are present everywhere in Art. They are found in prehistoric paintings on rock art, on stained-glass, on canvas and panel paintings, on statues, dyes on fabrics, glazed on terracotta, etc. They are everywhere and knowing their chemical structure is an undeniable asset for authentication, preservation and restoration.
Understanding a work of art, an artist
The characterization of pigments used by an artist will help to understand the various processes that led to the manufacture of a painted work (mixtures, layers & overlays, repentances, etc.). Whether the paint comes from a polychrome sculpture, a panel, an icon or a rock pattern, its understanding passes first through the characterization of materials used by the artist.
Authenticating a painting
Authentication can be done by confirming or refuting the composition of the pigments palette used by the artist. The chronology of use of pigments worldwide is another way to determine if an intervention was made on the painting or if the pigments are consistent with the date of creation of the work. This type of analysis can provide an indirect dating.
An asset for restoration
A common application for the conservation and restoration field is among others, the determination of the stability of some pigments or dyes to light (microfadeometry) or heat.