During initial conservator's investigation of paneled wooden vault of the church in Le Quillio, 17th century paintings, hidden behind painted canvas nailed on the panels were discovered. A closer look on these paintings and some exposure windows showed the presence of an older paint layer. This layer corresponds to the first vault decoration, dating back all the way at the end of 15th century, existence of which was attested by written sources. However, the conservation state of the original pictorial layer was unknown, so it was not possible to make a decision to uncover it without further information acquired, preferably, noninvasively. Examination of different layers was performed by extracting, processing and cross‐referencing the information from the complementary data obtained from macro X‐ray fluorescence scanning as well as multi‐ and hyperspectral imaging. This allowed to characterize the mineral composition of different layers and to attribute them respectively to the end of 15th century original painting, the 17th century overpaint and to the later 19th century interventions corresponding rather to a large retouching or restoration. Our study also showed the particularities of the mounting of panels, as some parts on the first decoration's paint seem to be partially discontinued between successive panels and may attest to the exchange of panels between different parts of the vault. This pilot study was conducted on an only small part of the large vault (0.4% of the 32 m2). Further, more extensive investigations will be required to better understand this complex object and its complex history.
Financed by the National Centre for Research and Development under grant No. SP/I/1/77065/10 by the strategic scientific research and experimental development program:
SYNAT - “Interdisciplinary System for Interactive Scientific and Scientific-Technical Information”.