Scientists have found Rembrandt’s rare secret ingredient that made his paintings so vibrant Automatic translate
The discovery may be crucial to preserve the masterpieces of the Dutch artist for future generations.
Dutch and French scientists have discovered the secret of Rembrandt’s technique. Referring to a scientific article published in the scientific journal Angewandte Chemie, The Daily Mail reports that the team identified a substance, the plumbonacrite mineral Pb 5 O (OH) 2 (CO 3 ) 3 , a rare compound that has so far been identified only in works of art 20 century and in one painting by Vincent van Gogh. Information is vital to understanding Rembrandt’s technique and can be critical to preserving and restoring his masterpieces for future generations.
“We did not expect to find this ingredient, as it is very unusual for paintings by old masters,” said the main author of the newspaper, Victor Gonzalez from the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam and Delft University of Technology, told Daily Mail. “Moreover, our study shows that its presence is not accidental and is not the result of pollution.”
To conduct their research, scientists took tiny samples of paint less than 0.1 mm in size from three paintings by Rembrandt: “Portrait of Martin Soulman” (1634) from Rijksmuseum , "Bathsheba" (1654) of Louvre Museum and Suzanne (1636) from Mauritshuis Museum in the hague.
Using advanced technology developed at Synchrotron’s European laboratory in Grenoble, France, the team used X-rays to identify chemicals in paint samples. “Based on historical texts, we believe that Rembrandt added lead oxide to the oil in order to turn the mixture into a paste-like paint,” said conservation expert Marine Kotte.
Annelis van Lun from the Rijksmuseum State Museum said the next step would be to study other paintings by Rembrandt and his colleagues. “We are working with the hypothesis that Rembrandt could use other recipes and that is why we will study samples of other paintings by Rembrandt and other Dutch masters of the 17th century, including Vermeer, Hals and artists belonging to the Rembrandt circle.”
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