Computer-Assisted Pigment Identification in Artworks

R. Mazzeo (Italy), C.E. Palazzi (Italy, USA), M. Roccetti, and G. Sciutto (Italy)


Imaging techniques, false-color infrared, photomosaic, groupware.


False-color infrared represents a well known method for non-invasive pigment identification in artworks. This is particularly useful in the field of conservation of cultural heritage as it provides useful information about painting materials, techniques, retouches. However, the interpretation of a false-color image is still carried out just by “naked eye” evaluation, thus suffering from the doubts of a subjective exam. To this aim, we designed a computer-assisted system to support pigment identification in an artwork. Our system includes automated procedures for selecting investigation areas and for matching unknown pigments on the considered artwork with known standards in a database. Finally, information is made available for discussion among remotely located investigators through a shared virtual environment (i.e., a groupware).

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