The Tomba dell’Orco is one of the most beautiful and richly decorated tombs in the Etruscan necropolis of Tarquinia (Lazio, Italy). The necropolis extends over a wide hill territory of 750 ha; in particular, this tomb is situated on a hill close to the modern cemetery of Tarquinia. The tomb was discovered in 1868 and it is composed of two distinct sepulchral rooms, dating back to the beginning and the end of 4th century B.C., respectively. The biggest and more recent room is the object of our investigation. Although this tomb has been intensively studied in the past for purposes of restoration and conservation, a scientific report has never been published. During the last restoration (2001), several scientific investigations were performed in order to characterise the materials and technique of execution of the mural paintings. In this study, we report the Raman and EDXRF measurements carried out to identify the colour palette. In some cases, to confirm and clarify some results, it was necessary to work on cross-sections, to analyse the composition of the different layers. Mixtures of ochre and cinnabar were found on the body of the painted figures, while only red ochre was used for decorative elements. Orpiment and yellow ochre were used as yellow pigments. It was also possible to recognise calcite- and copper-based pigments for white and green-blue decorations, respectively. Evidences of Egyptian Blue were also found.

A. SODO, D. ARTIOLI, A. BOTTI, G. DE PALMA, A. GIOVAGNOLI, M. MARIOTTINI, et al. (2008). The colours of Etruscan paintings: a study on the Tomba dell'Orco in the necropolis of Tarquinia. JOURNAL OF RAMAN SPECTROSCOPY, 39, 1035-1041 [10.1002/jrs.198].

The colours of Etruscan paintings: a study on the Tomba dell'Orco in the necropolis of Tarquinia

SODO, ARMIDA;RICCI, Maria Antonietta
2008

Abstract

The Tomba dell’Orco is one of the most beautiful and richly decorated tombs in the Etruscan necropolis of Tarquinia (Lazio, Italy). The necropolis extends over a wide hill territory of 750 ha; in particular, this tomb is situated on a hill close to the modern cemetery of Tarquinia. The tomb was discovered in 1868 and it is composed of two distinct sepulchral rooms, dating back to the beginning and the end of 4th century B.C., respectively. The biggest and more recent room is the object of our investigation. Although this tomb has been intensively studied in the past for purposes of restoration and conservation, a scientific report has never been published. During the last restoration (2001), several scientific investigations were performed in order to characterise the materials and technique of execution of the mural paintings. In this study, we report the Raman and EDXRF measurements carried out to identify the colour palette. In some cases, to confirm and clarify some results, it was necessary to work on cross-sections, to analyse the composition of the different layers. Mixtures of ochre and cinnabar were found on the body of the painted figures, while only red ochre was used for decorative elements. Orpiment and yellow ochre were used as yellow pigments. It was also possible to recognise calcite- and copper-based pigments for white and green-blue decorations, respectively. Evidences of Egyptian Blue were also found.
A. SODO, D. ARTIOLI, A. BOTTI, G. DE PALMA, A. GIOVAGNOLI, M. MARIOTTINI, et al. (2008). The colours of Etruscan paintings: a study on the Tomba dell'Orco in the necropolis of Tarquinia. JOURNAL OF RAMAN SPECTROSCOPY, 39, 1035-1041 [10.1002/jrs.198].
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11590/142420
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