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Title: Characterization of a 19th century decorated gypsum plaster piece: the role of microscopy
Authors: Freire, T.
Santos Silva, A.
Veiga, M. R.
Brito, J.
Keywords: Characterization;Portuguese gypsum plasters;Microscopy;Cultural heritage
Issue Date: Sep-2009
Abstract: Abstract In spite of the lack of raw material of good quality, the use of gypsum plasters for interior plastering of walls and ceilings in Portugal was particularly expressive in the period between the 18th century and the first half of the 20th century. The quality and variety of gypsum plaster decorations in the Portuguese monumental and domestic architecture contrast with the rare studies on this subject. As a consequence, the almost inexistent information about this important heritage is leading to its fast loss. The present research occurs in this context, where the characterization of the Portuguese historical gypsum plasters is the first step to reach the main purpose: the development of new repair gypsum plasters compatible with the old materials. In this paper the results of the characterization of a particular gypsum plaster piece from the end of the 19th Century, simulating a marmorino, are presented and discussed. The invaluable role of microscopy in this case study will be emphasized as it was particularly important to answer the main questions raised by the other complementary analytical techniques. The results obtained are unexpected and allow understanding the materials and techniques used for the manufacture of this elaborate works of art, very scarcely reported in the literature and often interpreted only from the art history point of view.
Appears in Collections:DED/NRI - Comunicações a congressos e artigos de revista

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