X-Ray Fluorescence as a Method of Characterizing Inorganic Pigment Patterns in Art
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In the fall of 2014 and the spring of 2015, 33 paintings by the Texas painter Julian Onderdonk (1882-1922) were analyzed using a portable X-ray fluorescence detector. The resulting spectral information revealed the elemental composition of the pigments used by Onderdonk and how they varied through his career. Using these spectra, elemental patterns were established that differentiated the paintings based on three major periods in Onderdonk’s career, and undated works were matched with these patterns to assign them to a likely date range. The technique for identifying the pigments used in this thesis is useful for the analysis of both art and archaeological materials, and can be employed to substantiate stylistic associations of design between objects and to identify fraudulent items.
Dostal, Christopher Matthew (2015). X-Ray Fluorescence as a Method of Characterizing Inorganic Pigment Patterns in Art. Master's thesis, Texas A & M University. Available electronically from