The methods of analysis used in ceramics as an effective procedure in the conservation of terracotta sculptures
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Universidade de Évora. Laboratório Hercules
TerracottaSculptureArtistic heritageAnalitical studies
Bermúdez Sánchez, C.; Cultrone, G.; Rueda Quero, L. The methods of analysis used in ceramics as an effective procedure in the conservation of terracotta sculptures. E-Conservation Magazine, 20: 56-66 (2011). [http://hdl.handle.net/10481/36742]
The analytical techniques used in ceramics, should be considered an essential procedure in research into terracotta sculptures. The application of these methods may contribute decisively to the preservation of this part of or artistic heritage, by providing an insight into the composition, technology and behavior over time of this material. These studies remain very scarce and incomplete when it refers to the terracotta as sculpture main material. Terracotta has been used as a medium for sculpture since prehistoric times, and was especially important in the Renaissance and Baroque periods, when it was used to create completed pieces. As these pieces often have their own particular finishes and surface treatments, the methods of analysis must be adapted in order to ensure that the relevant information can be obtained. We have focused on the specific methods that help us to identify the geographical origin of the piece, date it, analyse the intrinsic characteristics that can lead to long term damage, and assess the behavior of the material through that of test samples.