The 6th century Codex Sinopensis or Sinope Gospels (Paris, Bibliothèque nationale de France) is one of the most precious purple codices that survive from the Late Antique period. Together with the Vienna Genesis (Wien, Österreichische Nationalbibliothek) and the Rossano Gospels (Rossano Calabro, Museo Diocesano), it has an unusually rich decorative apparatus with scenes representing biblical episodes. It can be, therefore, considered one of the most important preserved artistic productions of the early medieval era. The manuscript has been subjected to a non-invasive diagnostic campaign to evaluate the quality of the colourants used in its decoration, to understand how the parchment was coloured, and to carry out a comparison with the Vienna Genesis and the Rossano Gospels. The techniques used were UV-visible diffuse reflectance spectrophotometry with optical fibres (FORS), X-ray fluorescence spectrometry (XRF), spectrofluorimetry, and optical microscopy. Analyses highlighted the presence of ultramarine blue, which, besides the use of pure gold for the ink and paint, certifies the high value of the manuscript. In addition, this must be seen as one of the earliest examples of its use in paintings. The purple colour of the parchment was identified as orchil, a dye extracted from lichens, similar to the results of analytical investigations carried out on other purple codices, and not the expected Tyrian purple dye.

Non-Invasive Study on the Sinope Gospels

Maurizio Aceto
Primo
;
Elisa Calà
Secondo
;
2020-01-01

Abstract

The 6th century Codex Sinopensis or Sinope Gospels (Paris, Bibliothèque nationale de France) is one of the most precious purple codices that survive from the Late Antique period. Together with the Vienna Genesis (Wien, Österreichische Nationalbibliothek) and the Rossano Gospels (Rossano Calabro, Museo Diocesano), it has an unusually rich decorative apparatus with scenes representing biblical episodes. It can be, therefore, considered one of the most important preserved artistic productions of the early medieval era. The manuscript has been subjected to a non-invasive diagnostic campaign to evaluate the quality of the colourants used in its decoration, to understand how the parchment was coloured, and to carry out a comparison with the Vienna Genesis and the Rossano Gospels. The techniques used were UV-visible diffuse reflectance spectrophotometry with optical fibres (FORS), X-ray fluorescence spectrometry (XRF), spectrofluorimetry, and optical microscopy. Analyses highlighted the presence of ultramarine blue, which, besides the use of pure gold for the ink and paint, certifies the high value of the manuscript. In addition, this must be seen as one of the earliest examples of its use in paintings. The purple colour of the parchment was identified as orchil, a dye extracted from lichens, similar to the results of analytical investigations carried out on other purple codices, and not the expected Tyrian purple dye.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11579/117945
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