The Influence of Gamma Radiation on the Binders in Paint Layers

Author: Valentina Meštrić
Mentors: Domagoj Šatović; PhD, Professor, Vladan Desnica; PhD, Professor; Katarina Marušić, PhD, Associate from The Ruđer Bošković Institute

Department for Conservation and Restoration of Works of Art, Academy of Fine Arts, University of Zagreb (Croatia)
Study programme: Integrated undergraduate and graduate course of study in conservation-restoration
Specialization: Paintings (5th year of study)

Many objects of cultural heritage are exposed to radiation to stamp out the unwanted microorganisms that are present on them. Although it was initially considered that the radiation of painted objects was completely harmless and without any adverse effects on the object itself, later changes in the colour of pigments were noticed, some of them being bedimmed, some illuminated, etc. This paper deals with a specific area of the influence of gamma radiation on binders in paint layers, as only few articles have been published on this subject so far.
Seven different binders used throughout the history of painting were chosen and prepared. The binders were applied on polyethylene substrates (radiation-resistant) and radiated with five different doses; first in the centre and then away from the centre. After irradiation, colour changes of each of the binders were measured using a CIE Lab colorimeter.

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Short biography

VALENTINA MEŠTRIĆ was born in Varaždin on August 16, 1994. After graduating from Prva Gimnazija Varaždin in 2013, she enrolled at the Academy of Fine Arts in Zagreb, in the Department of Conservation and Restoration of Works of Art. For the fourth year in a row, she is among the 10% of the most successful students at the Academy and is currently working on her final thesis in co-operation with the Ruđer Bošković Institute. In her leisure time, she is engaged in solo singing, CrossFit, and fencing.