Panel from a painted wall: Icarus falls to the sea while his father Daedalus flies on unaware. The background is a contemporary Roman setting, with a fortified coastal city and an amphitheatre. This painting is a companion to 1867.5-8.1354.
- Excavated/Findspot: Pompeii
- (Europe,Italy,Campania,Naples (province),Pompeii)
- Height: 35.5 centimetres
- Width: 34.5 centimetres
1990 24 Mar-10 Jun, Australia, Canberra, National Gallery of Australia, Civilization: Ancient Treasures from the British Museum, cat. no.91
1990 28 Jun-23 Sep, Australia, Melbourne, Museum of Victoria, Civilization: Ancient Treasures from the British Museum, cat. no.91
22 October 1999
Reason for analysis
Analysis of Surface Coatings from Wallpainting GRA 1867,0508.1355
The wallpainting GRA 1867,0508.1355 portraying the death of Icarus was damaged byvibration from demolition work for the Great Court Project. During remedial conservation acoating was observed on the surface and it was felt that this had helped top hold the surfacetogether and reduced the vibration damage. Analysis of the coating was requested todetermine whether it should be reinstated in areas where the conservation treatment hadremoved it.A small sample was removed and analysed using a diamond cell and beam condensor byFourier transform infra-red spectroscopy, FTIR. The resultant spectrum (ANAL/GR1867 5-81355.SPA) indicated a mixture of a polyvinyl alcohol and a wax, probably beeswax.A second sample was removed with a cotton wool swab dampened with toluene. The swabwas extracted with more toluene and the extract allowed to air dry. This produced a whitedeposit. The deposit was analysed as before and the spectrum (ANAL/GR1867 5-8 1355E.SPA)was a very good match for beeswax.The wallpainting has been coated with two materials a polyvinyl acetate resin and beeswax.These were almost certainly applied separately.
Analysis reference number
Greek & Roman Antiquities
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Object reference number: GAA1129
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