During the first three quarters of the fifteenth century the Portuguese Royal Court had significant literary production of which the “Lisbon's General Chronicle of Spain”, produced ca. 1430–1450, and the “Chronicle of D. Duarte de Meneses”, produced around 1470, are two remarkable testimonies. In order to support or refute the common origin of these manuscripts from the Court scriptorium, microscopic (digital microscopy) and spectroscopic techniques (UV-Vis-FORS, h-EDXRF and MA-EDXRF) were used to characterize both writing inks and colour paints of their illuminations. ELIO MA-XRF mapping system was used for the first time for the chemical analysis of Portuguese illuminations, revealing interesting results concerning the painting techniques used for producing two representative illustrations, namely the use of a dark-brown ochre in a putto carnation – one of the first dark-skin angels’ representation in Portuguese illuminations, and the presence of two hands for producing the illumination in the same folium, using two different painting techniques and distinguishable materials for the blue colour. Finally, and for both manuscripts, h-EDXRF analysis of the writing inks revealed a common improvised way of working, considering the forty to twenty years that separate both creations.
- Iron-gall inks