• Assessment of a best practise approach for the attribution and authentication of paintings
  • Fiorillo, Flavia <1985>


  • FIS/07 Fisica applicata (a beni culturali, ambientali, biologia e medicina)


  • The ever-growing interest in scientific techniques, able to characterise the materials and rediscover the steps behind the execution of a painting, makes them widely accepted in its investigation. This research discusses issues emerging from attribution and authentication studies and proposes best practise for the characterisation of materials and techniques, favouring the contextualisation of the results in an integrated approach; the work aims to systematically classify paintings in categories that aid the examination of objects. A first grouping of paintings is based on the information initially available on them, identifying four categories. A focus of this study is the examination of case studies, spanning from the 16th to the 20th century, to evaluate and validate different protocols associated to each category, to show problems arising from paintings and explain advantages and limits of the approach. The research methodology incorporates a combined set of scientific techniques (non-invasive, such as technical imaging and XRF, micro-invasive, such as optical microscopy, SEM-EDS, FTIR, Raman microscopy and in one case radiocarbon dating) to answer the questions and, if necessary for the classification, exhaustively characterise the materials of the paintings, as the creation and contribution of shared technical databases related to various artists and their evolution over time is an objective tool that benefits this kind of study. The reliability of a close collaboration among different professionals is an essential aspect of this research to comprehensively study a painting, as the integration of stylistic, documentary and provenance studies corroborates the scientific findings and helps in the successful contextualisation of the results and the reconstruction of the history of the object.


  • 2020-04-03
  • info:eu-repo/date/embargoEnd/2023-02-01


  • Doctoral Thesis
  • PeerReviewed


  • application/pdf



Fiorillo, Flavia (2020) Assessment of a best practise approach for the attribution and authentication of paintings, [Dissertation thesis], Alma Mater Studiorum Università di Bologna. Dottorato di ricerca in Studi sul patrimonio culturale / cultural heritage studies , 32 Ciclo.