Italian violin makers in the distant past developed painting techniques that lend their instruments both an excellent musical tone and impressive looks. Few records from this era have survived, as techniques most often went down verbally to apprentices; Only scarce information is available on the original methods used to complete the instruments.
In a new study published in EPJ Plus Giacomo Fiocco, affiliated with both Pavia and Turin Universities in Italy, and his colleagues using the Synchrotron plant in Trieste to develop a non-invasive 3-D ̵
In this study, the authors rely on a 3-D scanning method called Synchrotron Radiation Micro-Calculated Tomography (SR-micro-CT). In addition, they use the Elchra Synchrotron Trieste synchrotron, a beam of accelerated particles, which produces a high radiation current scattered over a continuous spectrum extending from infrared to hard X-rays.
The authors first use the X-ray to scan two sets of mock-ups prepared in their lab to mimic the finished layers on the historical instruments. Using mock-ups, they then optimize the 3-D scan settings, amplify the spatial resolution and define the parameters required for 3-D reconstruction. The authors then focus on a large fragment removed from a damaged cello made by the Italian luthier Andrea Guarneri of the 17th century. Finally, they compare their results with those produced by microinvasive paints analysis to assess the benefits of reconstructed amounts and virtual cutting in examining such layered, complex structures.
Saves Rembrandt for future generations
Giacomo Fiocco et al. Synchrotron radiation micro-computed tomography for post-processing exploration in historical bent string instruments: Problems and Perspectives European Physical Journal Plus (2018). DOI: 10,1140 / epjp / i2018-12366-5