Campus Ciencia Humanidades

Composition and deterioration in mural of Diego Rivera is studied

NOTIMEX

(Notimex).- The Institute of Physics (IF, for its acronym in Spanish) under the UNAM, through the National Laboratory of Sciences for Research and Conservation of Cultural Heritage (LANCIC, for its acronym in Spanish), studies the composition and deterioration of the mural of the Mexican painter Diego Rivera «Dream of a Sunday afternoon in the Alameda Central».

In the analysis of the muralist’s work, non-invasive imaging methods were used with portable equipment that determines the composition of the pigments, said LANCIC manager José Luis Ruvalcaba Sil.
«On this work several studies have been done, except a technical one in detail. This strategy consists of photographically recording a piece under various illuminations,» he explained.

«Because the materials respond differently to the light that impinges on them, it is possible to differentiate the pigments present in the work, the alterations to which it was subjected and even cracks difficult to perceive by other means,» he added.

The specialists made a registry with infrared light, then ultraviolet and then with a method called infrared of false color, to know how many pigments were used in the work, informed the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM, for its acronym in Spanish) Global.

Also, with this investigation, it was possible to observe the place where there are fractures, alterations and repainting, as well as technical aspects about its elaboration.

«We also did a digital radiography, something new, and this showed us deformations in the mesh inside, where the mural records more fractures,» he said.

Ruvalcaba Sil emphasized that with the study of this work, which measures 4.75 meters by 15.67 meters, were able to obtain important details about the technique of manufacture, painting and the pigments with which it was painted.

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