Uncover the mantle: rediscovering Gregório Lopes palette and technique with a study on the painting “Mater Misericordiae”

Vanessa Antunes, António Candeias, Maria J. Oliveira, Maria L. Carvalho, Cristina Barrocas Dias, Ana Manhita, Maria J. Francisco, Sónia Costa, Alexandra Lauw, Marta Manso

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Gregório Lopes (c. 1490–1550) was one of the most prominent painters of the renaissance and Mannerism in Portugal. The painting “Mater Misericordiae” made for the Sesimbra Holy House of Mercy, circa 1535–1538, is one of the most significant works of the artist, and his only painting on this theme, being also one of the most significant Portuguese paintings of sixteenth century. The recent restoration provided the possibility to study materially the painting for the first time, with a multianalytical methodology incorporating portable energy-dispersive X-ray fluorescence spectroscopy, scanning electron microscopy–energy-dispersive spectroscopy, micro-X-ray diffraction, micro-Raman spectroscopy and high-performance liquid chromatography coupled to diode array and mass spectrometry detectors. The analytical study was complemented by infrared reflectography, allowing the study of the underdrawing technique and also by dendrochronology to confirm the date of the wooden panels (1535–1538). The results of this study were compared with previous ones on the painter’s workshop, and significant differences and similitudes were found in the materials and techniques used.

Original languageEnglish
Article number965
JournalApplied Physics A: Materials Science and Processing
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2016


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