Fast Structural and Compositional Analysis of Cross-section Samples from an 18th Century Oil Painting
2 October 2017

This whitepaper presents the cross-section sample analysis of an oil painting on canvas. The painting, The Madonna Appearing to St. Philip Neri, was created by Italian artist Sabastiano Conca (1680-1764) in 1740. It has been previously heavily restored, and numerous losses and fills can be seen clearly in  X-radiographs. Radiographs also show that a thick impenetrable white fill material, probably lead white pigment (2PbCO3.Pb(OH)2), was applied over the entire lower area of the painting during a previous restoration. Are there any original paint layers under the lead white fill. Five microsamples were removed from the lower area of the Conca painting and prepared as epoxy mounted cross-section samples in order to answer questions about this painting's history.