Micro-Raman spectroscopy and gas chromatography combined with mass spectrometry (GC–MS) were employed to investigate the materials used in the wall paintings by the older Parmigianino (Francesco Mazzola, 1503–1540) on the arch over the main altar in the church of Santa Maria della Steccata in Parma, Italy. The pigments used by the artist and those added by later restorations are characterized by micro-Raman spectroscopy. GC–MS identified the organic binding media in the paint samples and revealed the presence of polysaccharides in the plaster. These investigations may be useful for a comparison with the technique of the young Parmigianino, author of wall paintings in the church of S. Giovanni Evangelista in Parma in the 1520s.
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