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High mass and spatial resolution mass spectrometry imaging of Nicolas Poussin painting cross section by cluster TOF‐SIMS

Noun, M., Van Elslande, E., Touboul, D., Glanville, H., Bucklow, S., Walter, P., Brunelle, A.
Journal of mass spectrometry 2016 v.51 no.12 pp. i
cultural heritage, image analysis, mass spectrometry, pigments
The painting Rebecca and Eliezer at the Well, which hangs in the Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge, UK, is possibly one of the last figure painting executed by Nicolas Poussin at the very end of his life and is usually dated to the early 1660s. In this perspective special feature, Philippe Walter, Alain Brunelle and colleagues give new insights on the artist's working methods by a careful stateof‐the‐art imaging ToF‐SIMS study of one sample taken on the edge of the painting. This approach allowed for the identification of the pigments used in the painting, their nature and components and those of the ground and preparatory layers, with the identification of the binder(s) and possible other additions of organic materials such as glue. This study paves the way to a wider use of ToF‐SIMS for the analysis of ancient cultural heritage artefacts. Dr. Walter is the Director of the Molecular and Structural Archeology Laboratory (Université Pierre et Marie Curie, Paris, France). Dr. Brunelle is Head of the Mass Spectrometry Laboratory at the Institut de Chimie des Substances Naturelles (CNRS, Gif‐sur‐Yvette, France). Their long standing collaboration has led to several seminal publications on the analysis of ancient artefacts by mass spectrometry.