cod. 1007891

Academic year 2023/24
2° year of course - First semester
- Antonella CASOLI
Academic discipline
Chimica dell'ambiente e dei beni culturali (CHIM/12)
Attività formative affini o integrative
Type of training activity
30 hours
of face-to-face activities
6 credits
hub: PARMA
course unit

Learning objectives

The course intends to give the student, within the framework of the
European descriptors for the three-year degrees (Dublin descriptors), the
tools to develop the knowledge and the capacity to understand the
pictorial artistic good, through the study of the materials Original,
Degradation and restoration (1st descriptor-Knowledge and ability to
At the end of the course the student must be able to: • Apply such
knowledge and comprehension skills in addressing, with a professional
approach and through the conception of arguments, different questions
of knowledge of constituent materials A work of art, • Identification of the
executive technique, • The processes of degradation that afflicge the
pictorial works,
• Appropriate materials and techniques of intervention conservatively of
a pictorial work,
• Elaboration of a conservative intervention protocol on the work of Art
(2nd descriptor-Knowledge and comprehension skills applied);
• Independently collect and interpret articles, protocols of conservative
interventions (3rd descriptor-autonomy of judgement);
• Communicating information, ideas, problems and solutions of
conservation interventions of pictorial Works (4th Descriptorcommunicative
• Develop further learning skills necessary to undertake successive
studies with a high degree of autonomy in the field of cultural heritage
and, in particular, artistic (5th Descriptor-Ability to learn).


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Course unit content

The paint techniques over the centuries.
Structure and constituent materials of polychrome works.
Preventive conservation
Materials and methods for the conservation of paint works of art

Full programme

The program is for frequenters and non-attending people is the same
Painting techniques over the centuries
Structure and constituent materials of polychrome works.
• General information on painted surfaces.
• Description of pictorial techniques.
• Characteristics and chemical composition of organic materials
– proteins;
– Siccatives oils;
– Polysaccharide binders;
– Animal and plant waxes;
– Natural plant and animal resins
• The processes of alteration of organic pictorial materials
• Investigation techniques to characterize organic pictorial materials.
• Organic pigments and dyes
• Case studies
• Preventive storage
The "cleaning" of the paintings: the risk of interaction with the materials
of the work


L. Campanella, A. Casoli, M.P. Colombini, R. Marini Bettolo, M. Matteini, L.
M. Migneco, A. Montenero, L. Nodari, C. Piccioli, M. Plossi Zappala’, G.
Portalone, U. Russo, M. P. Sammartino, Chimica per l'arte, Zanichelli
editore, 2007

Teaching methods

Classroom lectures, with powerpoint projections (sources, works of art,
video, documentaries). Powerpoint slideshows containing images and
sources shown during frontal lessons are available at the end of the
course on the platform for blended learning Elly DUSIC).

Assessment methods and criteria

The interview (about 30 minutes) focuses on the entire exam program
and intends to verify the knowledge acquired by the student.
According to the Italian university system, the evaluation will be
expressed in thirtieth (30/30). The minimum assessment threshold shall
be 18/30; The votes obtained below this threshold are not recorded and
the student is invited to reintroduce themselves to the next call.
A failure assessment is determined by: 1. Lack of knowledge of the
minimum contents of the course; 2. The inability to express themselves
adequately; 3. The lack of autonomous preparation; 4. The inability to
solve problems related to information retrieval and analysis; 5. The
inability to make judgements autonomously and to communicate the
contents relating to the course. A sufficient assessment (18-23/30) is
determined by an acceptable level of performance by the student of the
evaluation indicators listed above. The average scores (24-27/30) are
attributed to the student who proves that they have a more than
sufficient (24-25/30) or Good (26-27/30) level of the evaluation indicators
listed above. The highest scores (from 28/30 to 30/30 and Lode) are
awarded to students who demonstrate an excellent to excellent level
based on the rating indicators listed above.

Other information

Expected Learning Outcomes
To be able to evaluate the possibilities present in the chemical field for a
suitable knowledge and valorization (preservation, recovery) of the
historical-artistic cultural heritage. Know how to distinguish materials
according to the chemical composition. Know how to understand the
strengths (inertia, stability) and weakness (reactivity, instability) of the
materials. From the physico-chemical properties of the substances
constituting the study materials know how to recognize and evaluate the
state of preservation and the potential causes of degradation.