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X-ray tomography of large wooden artworks: the case study of “Doppio corpo” by Pietro Piffetti
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X-ray tomography of large wooden artworks: the case study of “Doppio corpo” by Pietro Piffetti

Author: Alessandro Re Affiliation: Istituto Nazionale di Fisica Nucleare, Sezione di Torino, via Pietro Giuria 1, Torino, 10125, ItalyFauzia Albertin Affiliation: Istituto Nazionale di Fisica Nucleare, Sezione di Torino, via Pietro Giuria 1, Torino, 10125, ItalyChiara Avataneo Affiliation: Dipartimento di Fisica, Università di Torino, via Pietro Giuria 1, Torino, 10125, ItalyRosa Brancaccio Affiliation: Istituto Nazionale di Fisica Nucleare, Sezione di Torino, via Pietro Giuria 1, Torino, 10125, ItalyJacopo Corsi Affiliation: Istituto Nazionale di Fisica Nucleare, Sezione di Torino, via Pietro Giuria 1, Torino, 10125, ItalyAll authors
Edition/Format: Article Article : English
Publication:Heritage Science, v2 n1 (201412): 1-9
Summary:
X-ray computed tomography (CT) is now used in the cultural heritage field because it is non-invasive and it can give a large amount of information on the inner structure of the object under study. Until recently mainly medical CT scanners or micro-CT setups have been used, limiting the analysis to relatively small artworks or requiring multiple acquisition and difficult image-joining for objects larger than detector  Read more...
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Document Type: Article
All Authors / Contributors: Alessandro Re Affiliation: Istituto Nazionale di Fisica Nucleare, Sezione di Torino, via Pietro Giuria 1, Torino, 10125, Italy; Fauzia Albertin Affiliation: Istituto Nazionale di Fisica Nucleare, Sezione di Torino, via Pietro Giuria 1, Torino, 10125, Italy; Chiara Avataneo Affiliation: Dipartimento di Fisica, Università di Torino, via Pietro Giuria 1, Torino, 10125, Italy; Rosa Brancaccio Affiliation: Istituto Nazionale di Fisica Nucleare, Sezione di Torino, via Pietro Giuria 1, Torino, 10125, Italy; Jacopo Corsi Affiliation: Istituto Nazionale di Fisica Nucleare, Sezione di Torino, via Pietro Giuria 1, Torino, 10125, Italy; Giorgio Cotto Affiliation: Istituto Nazionale di Fisica Nucleare, Sezione di Torino, via Pietro Giuria 1, Torino, 10125, Italy; Stefania De Blasi Affiliation: Centro Conservazione e Restauro “La Venaria Reale”, Piazza della Repubblica, 10078 Venaria Reale, Torino, Italy; Giovanni Dughera Affiliation: Istituto Nazionale di Fisica Nucleare, Sezione di Torino, via Pietro Giuria 1, Torino, 10125, Italy; Elisabetta Durisi Affiliation: Istituto Nazionale di Fisica Nucleare, Sezione di Torino, via Pietro Giuria 1, Torino, 10125, Italy; Walter Ferrarese Affiliation: Istituto Nazionale di Fisica Nucleare, Sezione di Torino, via Pietro Giuria 1, Torino, 10125, Italy; Annamaria Giovagnoli Affiliation: Centro Conservazione e Restauro “La Venaria Reale”, Piazza della Repubblica, 10078 Venaria Reale, Torino, Italy; Novella Grassi Affiliation: Centro Conservazione e Restauro “La Venaria Reale”, Piazza della Repubblica, 10078 Venaria Reale, Torino, Italy; Alessandro Lo Giudice Affiliation: Istituto Nazionale di Fisica Nucleare, Sezione di Torino, via Pietro Giuria 1, Torino, 10125, Italy; Paolo Mereu Affiliation: Istituto Nazionale di Fisica Nucleare, Sezione di Torino, via Pietro Giuria 1, Torino, 10125, Italy; Giorgia Mila Affiliation: Istituto Nazionale di Fisica Nucleare, Sezione di Torino, via Pietro Giuria 1, Torino, 10125, Italy; Marco Nervo Affiliation: Centro Conservazione e Restauro “La Venaria Reale”, Piazza della Repubblica, 10078 Venaria Reale, Torino, Italy; Nadia Pastrone Affiliation: Istituto Nazionale di Fisica Nucleare, Sezione di Torino, via Pietro Giuria 1, Torino, 10125, Italy; Francesco Prino Affiliation: Istituto Nazionale di Fisica Nucleare, Sezione di Torino, via Pietro Giuria 1, Torino, 10125, Italy; Luciano Ramello Affiliation: Dipartimento di Scienze e Innovazione Tecnologica, Università del Piemonte Orientale, Viale Teresa Michel 11, Alessandria, 15121, Italy; Massimo Ravera Affiliation: Centro Conservazione e Restauro “La Venaria Reale”, Piazza della Repubblica, 10078 Venaria Reale, Torino, Italy; Chiara Ricci Affiliation: Dipartimento di Fisica, Università di Torino, via Pietro Giuria 1, Torino, 10125, Italy; Alessandra Romero Affiliation: Istituto Nazionale di Fisica Nucleare, Sezione di Torino, via Pietro Giuria 1, Torino, 10125, Italy; Roberto Sacchi Affiliation: Istituto Nazionale di Fisica Nucleare, Sezione di Torino, via Pietro Giuria 1, Torino, 10125, Italy; Amedeo Staiano Affiliation: Istituto Nazionale di Fisica Nucleare, Sezione di Torino, via Pietro Giuria 1, Torino, 10125, Italy; Lorenzo Visca Affiliation: Istituto Nazionale di Fisica Nucleare, Sezione di Torino, via Pietro Giuria 1, Torino, 10125, Italy; Lorenzo Zamprotta Affiliation: Istituto Nazionale di Fisica Nucleare, Sezione di Torino, via Pietro Giuria 1, Torino, 10125, Italy
Language Note: English
Unique Identifier: 5690433599
Notes: Acknowledgements: This study was carried out in the framework of the neu_ART research project funded by Regione Piemonte. We thank the administrative staff for the precious support: D. Bortot (INFN), A. Bellino and M. Giacoia (CCR) and G. Sbarrai (Università di Torino). We also thank for their valuable work the team of the Technological Laboratory of INFN Torino, in particular S. Brasolin, F. Borotto, G. Ferrero and R. Panero. We are grateful to L. Godart, director of Quirinale Palace Art Collections, and to his staff, in particular way L. Morozzi, for supporting the experimental application of CT on Pietro Piffetti’s “Doppio Corpo” and to F. Casali, M.P. Morigi, M. Bettuzzi and D. Schneberk for the fruitful discussions and the much useful advice.
Awards:

Abstract:

X-ray computed tomography (CT) is now used in the cultural heritage field because it is non-invasive and it can give a large amount of information on the inner structure of the object under study. Until recently mainly medical CT scanners or micro-CT setups have been used, limiting the analysis to relatively small artworks or requiring multiple acquisition and difficult image-joining for objects larger than detector dimensions.
To overcome the limitations of ordinary CT devices, a facility for the X-ray tomography of large size artefacts has recently been designed and installed in a protected area of the Fondazione Centro Conservazione e Restauro “La Venaria Reale”, a Centre for Preservation and Restoration. This facility, based on a X-ray source, a linear X-ray detector and a high precision mechanical system, has been and will be used to gather information on materials, manufacturing techniques and conservative conditions of artworks undergoing the restoration process.
In this paper the results of the tomography of the first analyzed large artistic object are presented, giving an idea of the wealth of information obtained from the CT scan. The presented artwork is the writing cabinet called “doppio corpo”, a masterpiece of furniture more than 3 m high, inlaid for Savoy Residences by Pietro Piffetti, the most famous cabinet-maker in Piedmont in the XVIII century. The artwork is now housed in the Quirinale Palace, the official residence of the Italian President in Rome.
The CT analysis permitted us to obtain valuable information about the conservative conditions, the presence of previous interventions, the distribution of various materials and the dimensions and arrangement of several wooden pieces, thus allowing for interesting hypotheses about the building technique of this masterpiece.
Graphical Abstract The wooden writing cabinet called “doppio corpo” by Pietro Piffetti and some CT results.

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To overcome the limitations of ordinary CT devices, a facility for the X-ray tomography of large size artefacts has recently been designed and installed in a protected area of the Fondazione Centro Conservazione e Restauro “La Venaria Reale”, a Centre for Preservation and Restoration. This facility, based on a X-ray source, a linear X-ray detector and a high precision mechanical system, has been and will be used to gather information on materials, manufacturing techniques and conservative conditions of artworks undergoing the restoration process.
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Graphical Abstract The wooden writing cabinet called “doppio corpo” by Pietro Piffetti and some CT results.
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