Image processing methods integrated to imaging and material characterisation for the study of incunabula illustrations: an innovative multi-analytical approach on a case-study

Palabras clave: Incunábulos, Iluminação, IR-reflectografia, Processamento de Imagem, Caracterização de materiais


Este estudio se centra en la aplicación de un enfoque multianalítico que combina técnicas de procesamiento de imágenes, estudios de imágenes y caracterización de materiales en un incunable francés de finales del siglo XV y principio del XVI: el BPE, Inc.438. El primer objetivo del estudio fue verificar el potencial de los métodos computacionales en imágenes NIC para recuperar reconstrucciones precisas de las impresiones de grabado por Germain Hardouyn. Para esto, se eligieron as Trindade, f.8r; San Antonio Abad, f.61v. La metodología aplicada permitió la creación más rápida de reconstrucciones digitales, mientras que el análisis material demostró el uso de azurita, malaquita, bermellón, plomo blanco y ocres, y su respuesta NIR se evaluó en el contexto del procesamiento digital. El segundo objetivo fue hacer una comparación entre las iluminaciones elegidas y las referencias grabadas de las mismas representaciones de dos incunables de la British Library, desentrañando un plan de alteración previsto seguido por el iluminador insistiendo en criterios visuales y teológicos.


La descarga de datos todavía no está disponible.

Biografía del autor/a

Silvia Bottura Scardina, CIEBA-UL, CIDEHUS-UE, HERCULES Laboratory-UE, HERITAS-Estudos de Património

Silvia Bottura Scardina is a PhD candidate in Heritage Science. She graduated in Conservation of Books and Documents and got a MS degree in Heritage Science, both times in Rome. Since 2017 she is part of the PhD program of the University of Lisbon and the HERITAS consortium – Estudos de Património connecting the University of Lisbon and the University of Évora as a fellow student of the University of Lisbon (Ref: BD-2017 of the University of Lisbon). She collaborates with the research units CIEBA (Centro de Investigação e de Estudos em Belas-Artes) of the University of Lisbon, CIDEHUS (Centro Interdisciplinar de História, Culturas e Sociedades) and HERCULES Laboratory of the University of Évora. Her research interests are the materials and techniques used to produce illuminated books and illuminated early printed books.

Filipe Themudo Barata, CIDEHUS - University of Évora UNESCO Chair

Filipe Themudo Barata is a Portuguese researcher of the Centro Interdisciplinar de História, Cultura e Sociedades at the University of Évora. Previously Full Professor and Vice-President of the same university, he completed a degree in History at the University of Lisbon and a PhD in the same subject at the University of Évora. Since then, he has been specialising in Medieval History, Mediterranean Cultures, Museology and Intangible Heritage. He is also responsible of UNESCO Chart of Intangible Heritage, member of the Scientific Council of the University of Évora, director of the TPTI- Erasmus Mundus Master course and collaborates in numerous international projects.

Alice Nogueira Alves, Universidade de Lisboa, Faculdade de Belas-Artes, Centro de Investigação e de Estudos em Belas-Artes (CIEBA)

Alice Nogueira Alves is a Conservator-Restorer. Since the beginning of her academic training, issues related with the history and theory of restoration and the way different cultures see the artistic object gained fundamental importance in her academic interests, which culminated in the completion of a PhD in Art History, Cultural Heritage and Theory of Restoration, at the School of Arts and Humanities of the University of Lisbon, in 2009. Currently, she is a Guest Assistant Professor at the Faculty of Fine Arts of the University of Lisbon.

Catarina Miguel, HERCULES Laboratory, Institute for Advanced Studies and Research, Universidade de Évora

Catarina Miguel is an integrated researcher at the HERCULES Laboratory (HERança CULtural Estudos e Salvaguarda) at the University of Évora. She holds a degree in Chemical Engineering from Instituto Superior Técnico and a PhD in Conservation Sciences from the NOVA University of Lisbon. Specialist vibrational spectroscopy, Catarina Miguel has been working for more than a decade in the study of materials and techniques used in the production of illumination. Catarina Miguel is the author of more than two dozen publications with international circulation, and has supervised several master’s and doctoral theses.


RAÚJO, R. et al. (2015). “Ethical and technical concerns during the conservation process of a religious book, the book of hours from the library of Palácio Nacional de Mafra”, European Journal of Science and Theology, 11(2): 129-40.

BLOOMFIELD, M. (1952). The Seven Deadly Sins. Lansing: Michigan State College Press.

BROWN, M. (1994). Understanding Illuminated Manuscripts. A Guide to Technical Terms. Los Angeles: Getty Publications.

BURGIO, L. et al. (1997). “Pigment identification on medieval manuscripts, paintings and other artefacts by Raman microscopy: applications to the study of three German manuscripts”, Journal of Molecular Structure, 405(1): 1-11,

BURGIO, L. et al. (2010). “Raman Microscopy and X-Ray Fluorescence Analysis of Pigments on Medieval and Renaissance Italian Manuscript Cuttings”, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 107(13): 5726-5731,

CENNINI, C. (1899). The Book of Art of Cennino Cennini: A Contemporary Practise Treatise on Quattrocento Painting, Translated from the Italian, with Notes on Mediaeval Art Methods by Christiana H. Herringam. London: George Allen.

CHADWICK, O. (2001). The Early Reformation on the Continent. New York: Clarendon Press Oxford.

COHEN, S. (2008). Animals as Disguised Symbols in Renaissance Art. Leiden: Brill.

COHEN, S. (2010). “The Animal Triad of Capital Sins in Franciscan Iconography”, Ikon, 3: 189-198,

COHEN, S. (2014). “Review Essay: Animal Imagery in Renaissance Art”, Renaissance Quarterly, 67(1): 164-180,

COSENTINO, A. (2014). “FORS Spectral Database of Historical Pigments in Different Binders”, E-conservation Journal, 2:57-68,

CROSS, F. L. and LIVINGSTONE, E. L. (2005). The Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church. 3° ed. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

DIDRON, A. N. and STOKES, M. (1886). Christian iconography or The history of Christian art in the Middle Ages. London: G. Bell.

DRUCKER, C. B. (2008). “Ambroise Paré and the Birth of the Gentle Art of Surgery”, Yale Journal of Biolology and Medicine, 81(4): 199–202,

DUPLESSIS, G. (1861). Histoire de la gravure en France. Paris: Rapilly.

EARLS, I. (1987). Renaissance Art: A Topic Dictionary. New York-Westport, Connecticut-London: Greenwood.

EASTON, R. L. et al (2003). «Multispectral imaging of the Archimedes palimpsest”. In IEEE Conference: Washington: 111-116,

ELIAS, M. et al. (2006). “The Colour of Ochres Explained by Their Composition”, Materials Science and Engineering B, 127: 70–80,

FARIES, M. (2000). “Some thought on the Infrared Reflectography Workshop Experience”, Record of the Art Museum, 59(1/2): 33-37,

GAGE, J. (1999). Color and Meaning: Art, Science, and Symbolism. Berkeley-Los Angeles: University of California Press.

GETTENS, R. J. and STOUT, G. L. (1966). Painting materials: a short encyclopaedia. Courier Corporation.

GUELI, A. M. et al. (2017). “Effect of particle size on pigments colour”, Color Research & Application, 42(2): 236-243,

GUILEY, R. E. (2001). Encyclopedia of Saints. New York: Facts on Fire.

JACOBS, V. and JACOBS, W. (1958). “The Color Blue: Its Use as Metaphor and Symbol”, American Speech, 33(1): 29-46,

JØRGENSEN, A. D. (1899). Mårkær Kloster i Angeln. Historiske Afhandlinger. Copenhagen: Ernst Bojesen.

KLEIN, C. et al. (2007). Manual of mineral science. Hoboken (New Jersey): John Wiley.

MACFARLANE, J. (1900). Antoine Vérard. London: Bibliographical Society at the Chiswick Press.

MAJESKI, A. (2012). The printed books of hours of Thielman Kerver: exploring printer, shop, community and book, Tufts University: Somerville/Medford (Boston).

MANSO, M. et al. (2013). “Spectroscopic characterization of a masterpiece: the Manueline foral charter of Sintra”, Spectrochimica Acta A, 105: 288-296,

MARTENS, W. N. et al. (2004). “Single crystal Raman spectroscopy of cerussite”, American Mineralogist, 89(2-3): 352-358,

MELO, M. J. et al. (2014). “A Spectroscopic Study of Brazilwood Paints in Medieval Books of Hours”, Applied spectroscopy, 68(4): 434-443.

MIGUEL, C. et al. (2008). “A study on red lead degradation in a medieval manuscript Lorvão Apocalypse (1189)”, Journal of Raman Spectroscopy, 40(12): 1966-1973,

MIGUEL, C. et al. (2012). “Combining infrared spectroscopy with chemometric analysis for the characterization of proteinaceous binders in medieval paints”, Chemometrics and Intelligent Laboratory Systems, 119: 32-38,

MIGUEL, C. et al. (2019). “Unveiling the underprintings of a late-fifteenth-early-sixteenth century illuminated French incunabulum by infrared reflectography”, Journal of Cultural Heritage, 40(1): 34-42,

PESSANHA, S. et al. (2012). “Application of spectroscopic techniques to the study of illuminated manuscripts: a survey”, Spectrochimica Acta B, 71: 54-61,

REINBURG, V. (2012). French Books of Hours: Making an Archive of Prayers c.1400-1600. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

RENOUVIER, J. (1862). Des gravures sur bois dans les livres de Simon Vostre librarie d’heures. Paris: A. Aubry.

SCHILLER, G. (1972). Iconography of Christian Art. London: Lund Humphries.

SHERMAN, D. M. and WAITE, T. D. (1985). “Electronic spectra of Fe3+ oxides and oxide hydroxides in the near IR to near UV”, American Mineralogist, 70: 1262-1269.

SILVESTER, B. (1924). Commentum Bernardi Silvestris super sex libros Eneidos Virgilii: Nunc primum edidit Guilielmus Riedel. Gryphiswaldae: s.n.

SPARAVIGNA, A. (2009). “Digital restoration of ancient papyri”, arXiv preprint arXiv: 0903.5045.

TOMASINI, E. et al (2011). “Micro-Raman spectroscopy of carbon-based black pigments”, Journal of Raman Spectroscopy, 43: 1671–1675,

TORRENT, J. and BARRÓN, V. (2002). “Diffuse reflectance spectroscopy of iron oxides”, Encyclopedia of surface and Colloid Science, 1: 1438-1446,

WIECK, R. S. (1997). Painted prayers: the book of hours in medieval and Renaissance art. New York: George Braziller.

WINN, M. B. (2009). “Gathering the Borders in Hardouyn’s Hours: From the ‘Accidents de l’homme’ to the ‘Dis des Estas’”, The Papers of the Bibliographical Society of America, 103(2): 141-197.

ZÖHL, C. (2004). Jean Pichore: Buchmaler, Graphiker und Verleger in Paris um 1500. Turnhout: Brepols Publishers.

Cómo citar
Bottura Scardina, S., Themudo Barata, F., Nogueira Alves, A., & Miguel, C. (2020). Image processing methods integrated to imaging and material characterisation for the study of incunabula illustrations: an innovative multi-analytical approach on a case-study. Ge-Conservacion, 18, 362-374.