Analytical Techniques: Ultraviolet-Induced Visible Fluorescence Examination

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Author: Jessica Ford

Editors: Anne Schaffer, Kari Rayner

Ultraviolet-induced visible fluorescence examination is a non-invasive technique for qualitative characterization of materials on the surface of a painting. Radiation in the ultraviolet electromagnetic region excites materials on the surface of a painting, causing them to emit characteristic visible fluorescence (Measday 2017). In contrast, areas that are not excited by ultraviolet radiation will absorb it and appear dark. Varnishes, adhesives, relatively recent restorations, and some colorants can be characterized in this way, and inconsistencies or selective applications of materials may be visually distinguished. Recent advances have led to the development of reference standards and photographic documentation protocols to improve consistency in interpretation (Sexton et al. 2014).

References[edit | edit source]

Sexton, J. M., J. J. Chen, and P. Messier. 2014. "Development and testing of a reference standard for documenting ultraviolet induced visible fluorescence." Paper presented at 42nd Annual Meeting of the American Institute for Conservation, San Francisco, CA.