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Micro-XRF Investigation of Decoration Materials and Painting Techniques in Three 18th-19th Century Mosques in Berat, Albania

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DOI: 10.4236/msce.2019.75001    74 Downloads   132 Views

ABSTRACT

We will present here the data obtained from the examination with micro-XRF of a series of micro samples taken from the decorations of three mosques in Berat, Albania. These are parts of an Islamic religious complex situated at the central area of the old town and include the “Helvetia Tekke”, the King’s Mosque and the Bachelors’ Mosque, which were built or reconstructed during the second half of the 18th century and the beginning of the 19th century. Beside the architectural values of the buildings, the interiors of the monuments are decorated with paintings of the walls and the ceilings made of carved wood. The results of the measurements indicate that the preparation layer of the paintings on wooden ceilings was made of gypsum while that of the wall paintings was made of calcium carbonate. The palette includes the following inorganic pigments: lead white, gold, yellow and red ochre, vermilion, red lead, a copper based green, smalt and probably carbon black at Helvetia Tekke; green earth, yellow ochre, red ochre, red lead and cinnabar at Bachelors’ Mosque and red lead, orpiment and Indigo should have used for the original decorations of the ceilings in King Mosque, which are later overpainted with traditional pigments like yellow and red ochre, prussian blue and other modern pigments. Organic pigments, probably indigo and carbon black should have been used for the blue and black color. Similarities and differences observed between the monuments and indications about the painting technique as well as the degradation of some pigments will also be discussed.

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Merkaj, E. and Civici, N. (2019) Micro-XRF Investigation of Decoration Materials and Painting Techniques in Three 18th-19th Century Mosques in Berat, Albania. Journal of Materials Science and Chemical Engineering, 7, 1-15. doi: 10.4236/msce.2019.75001.

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