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Unravelling the spatial dependency of the complex solid-state chemistry of Pb in a paint micro-sample from Rembrandt's Homer using XRD-CT

DOI: 10.1039/C8CC09705D DOI Help

Authors: Stephen W. T. Price (Finden Ltd; Diamond Light Source) , Annelies Van Loon (Rijksmuseum; Royal Picture Gallery Mauritshuis; University of Amsterdam) , Katrien Keune (Rijksmuseum; University of Amsterdam) , Aaron Parsons (Diamond Light Source) , Claire Murray (Diamond Light Source) , Andrew M. Beale (Research Complex at Harwell, Rutherford Appleton Laboratory; University College London) , J. Fred W. Mosselmans (Diamond Light Source)
Co-authored by industrial partner: No

Type: Journal Paper
Journal: Chemical Communications , VOL 17

State: Published (Approved)
Published: January 2019
Diamond Proposal Number(s): 12778 , 15606

Open Access Open Access

Abstract: The surface of many Old Master paintings has been affected by the appearance of whitish lead-rich deposits, which are often difficult to fully characterise, thereby hindering conservation. A paint micro-sample from Rembrandt's Homer was imaged using X-ray Diffraction Computed Tomography (XRD-CT) in order to understand the evolving solid-state Pb chemistry from the painting surface and beneath. The surface crust was identified as a complex mixture of lead sulfates. From the S[thin space (1/6-em)]:[thin space (1/6-em)]Pb ratios throughout the paint layer, we can conclude that S is from an external source in the form of SO2, and that the nature of Pb–SO4 product is dependent on the degree of diffusion/absorption of SO2 into the paint layers.

Subject Areas: Chemistry


Instruments: I18-Microfocus Spectroscopy

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c8cc09705d.pdf