Two bronze sculptures, Ettore e Andromaca, a reproduction of a plaster model by Giorgio de Chirico, and Cardinale, a cast made from an original by Giacomo Manzù, stand outside the Carlo Bilotti contemporary art museum in Villa Borghese park (Rome). The composition of the artificial brown patina present on the statues’ surface, which was applied for aesthetic purposes, is unknown. This paper reports analysis carried out to identify the composition of the artificial patina and describe the corrosion products formed in outdoor conditions. Raman spectroscopy and scanning electron microscopy equipped with X-ray microanalysis were performed on sample fragments and powder scrapings taken from the bronze statues. X-ray powder diffraction was used whenever possible and subject to conservation priorities. Our data revealed, in the artificial brown patina, the formation of copper oxides (cuprite and tenorite) on the surface of both sculptures as possible result of oxidisation treatments performed with a blowtorch before the artificial patination process began. Furthermore, a copper nitrate (gerhardtite) was identified as an ingredient in the preparation applied to the bronze surfaces. The green areas revealed the presence of corrosion products as copper sulphate hydroxide (brochantite) and copper sulphate-chloride (connellite), which form under acid rains conditions.
CASANOVA Municchia, A., Bellatreccia, F., D’Ercoli, G., LO MASTRO, S., Reho, I., Ricci, M.A., et al. (2016). Characterisation of artificial patinas on bronze sculptures of the Carlo Bilotti Museum (Rome). APPLIED PHYSICS. A, MATERIALS SCIENCE & PROCESSING, 122(12) [10.1007/s00339-016-0551-4].