Scientific Reports (Aug 2021)

“Ecce Homo” by Antonello da Messina, from non-invasive investigations to data fusion and dissemination

  • Fauzia Albertin,
  • Chiara Ruberto,
  • Costanza Cucci,
  • Marco Callieri,
  • Marco Potenziani,
  • Eliana Siotto,
  • Paolo Pingi,
  • Roberto Scopigno,
  • Matteo Bettuzzi,
  • Rosa Brancaccio,
  • Maria Pia Morigi,
  • Lisa Castelli,
  • Francesco Taccetti,
  • Marcello Picollo,
  • Lorenzo Stefani,
  • Francesca de Vita

Journal volume & issue
Vol. 11, no. 1
pp. 1 – 18


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Abstract Scientific investigations of artworks are crucial in terms of preservation since they provide a measurable evaluation of the materials and the state of conservation. This is the case of Antonello da Messina’s painting “Ecce Homo”: its delicate state of conservation, with the need for constant monitoring, required a broad and in-depth diagnostic campaign to support the restorers. The project was carried out entirely in situ using non-invasive cutting-edge techniques and proposes a multimodal and data-centric approach, integrating 3D and 2D methodologies. The surface irregularities and the support were analysed with a structured-light 3D scanner and X-ray tomography. The painting materials were investigated with X-ray fluorescence scanning (MA-XRF) and reflectance hyperspectral imaging (HSI). Primarily, the data were jointly used for a scientific scope and provided new knowledge of the painting in terms of materials and painting techniques. In addition, two web-based interactive platforms were developed: one to provide restorers and experts with a new perspective of the hidden geometries of the painting, and the other targeted at the general public for dissemination purposes. The results of the Ecce Homo scientific analysis were exhibited, using a touch-screen interface, and developed for different user levels, from adults to kids.