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Mona Lisa, the icon of Western painting, painted at the very beginning of the 16th century by Leonardo da Vinci, needs no introduction.
In Master Verrocchio’s workshop, Leonardo learned a method of preparing paintings which included making a drawing on the paper and then transferring it onto the wood board by spolvero. In this technique, already described by Cennini in the 15th century, the drawing is first perforated with a needle, producing holes along the contours, and then placed on the plank; the subsequent application of a powdered black pigment leaves a series of black dots.
Differently from other portraits painted by Leonardo, for instance, The Lady with an Ermine, Ginevra de’ Benci and La Belle Ferronnière, where the spolvero had been detected, no traces of this technique were discovered in Mona Lisa.
The traditional means of observing spolvero under paintings is to use IR photography and IR reflectography. Despite the advancement in this techniques, also recent studies did not evidence the presence of this technique in Mona Lisa.
In the last decades
the success of entertainment video game industry has given birth to new types of outputs in the field of cultural heritage, including serious games and some virtual museum applications
(based on mixed reality, virtual reality, virtual worlds, etc.) that share the same infrastructure and core games technologies and use virtual reconstruction and engagement mechanism for edutainment and educational purposes.
Virtual reconstruction is a great didactic tool as it improves cognitive processes making the historical and archaeological data easily comprehensible to anyone; within a video game this potential is reinforced by the dynamics of storytelling, and learning-by-doing. However, the virtual reconstruction of the past imposes many limitations and great effort to ensure the consistency and reliability of the reconstructive hypothesis: historical accuracy and validation are the keywords that portray the virtual backgrounds made for applied VR games. Indeed, producing such products requires a tailored workflow and large effort in terms of time and professionals involved to guarantee such faithfulness.
Peru has a significant number of constructions of high historical and cultural value distributed along the country. Among these archaeological remains of great significance, there are multiple ‘Huacas’, which are pyramidal earthen constructions often built for sacred or religious purposes. Some of the many existing huacas have been damaged due to exposure to severe natural and anthropogenic hazards.
The selection of the best preservation or intervention strategies of these archaeological earthen constructions is a very challenging process that is often hampered due to the difficulty to define in-situ conditions.
Environmental, climatic, and atmospheric factors threaten the integrity of stone monuments, causing different forms and degrees of deterioration (stone weathering), both in the internal structure of the building stones and on the surface. Due to the complexity of this process, the accurate definition of the origins, types, levels of weathering and their classification is needed, to prevent erroneous intervention in conservation practices. Different classifications have been proposed during the years, traditionally starting from visual examination and then applying more quantitative approaches, expecially based on NDT.
The paper Determining the weathering classification of stone cultural heritage via the analytic hierarchy process and fuzzy inference system, by Mehmet Ergün Hatır, published on the Journal of Cultural Heritage, Volume 44, 2020, Pages 120-134, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.culher.2020.02.011 makes a step forward, defining an integrated weathering classification (IWC) to identify the levels of weathering, by combining two different weathering classifications, produced with visual analysis and P-wave velocity data.
The definition of the authenticity of artworks has undergone a slow process of development: with time, connoisseurship — the traditional practice of attributing detailed artistic identities to works of art on the basis of a comparative analysis of stylistic and formal components — has lost its position of technical leadership. In fact, currently, trust in the expert eye is increasingly subjected to the “objective” outcomes ensured by new and more rigorous techniques of scientific analysis of materials. However, this approach risks being somewhat reductive and incomplete.