This month our new paper “Multidisciplinary approach for time-framing of an overpainted wooden iconostasis from Southern Romania” was published in Microchemical Journal.

You can read it HERE! The paper is available on request.


In this study several non-invasive and minimally-invasive techniques were employed for the discovery of the original aspect of an old iconostasis belonging to a small wooden church in Vâlcea County (southern Romania). Preliminary examination of the iconostasis raised suspicions upon its actual age, the wooden carved decorations style pointing towards the Brancovan period, while images in raking light highlighted old lacunae painted over. Hyperspectral imaging and X-ray Fluorescence investigations were performed in situ, while Fourier-Transform Infrared Spectroscopy and microscopic examination were performed on several microsamples. Corroborated results confirmed the presence of an older painting underneath the visible one. Cross-section analysis revealed the existence of multiple layers, while images acquired with hyperspectral camera revealed contours of the initial drawing. Several pigments were found such as smalt, Prussian blue, vermilion, red lead, red and yellow ochre, chrome yellow, chrome green, lead white and zinc white. A modified egg tempera technique – proteinaceous materials mixed with oil, was most probably originally used. The obtained results shed light on the traditional painting techniques used within the Brancovan period as well as essential information for art historians and conservators involved in the restoration of this valuable artifact.