Scientists have found the rare secret ingredient of Rembrandt, which made his paintings so bright automatic translate
The discovery can be crucial for preserving the Dutch artist’s masterpieces for future generations.
Dutch and French scientists discovered the secret of Rembrandt technology. Referring to a scientific article published in the scientific journal Angewandte Chemie, The Daily Mail reports that the team identified a substance, the mineral plumbonacrit Pb 5 O (OH) 2 (CO 3 ) 3 , a rare compound that so far has only been identified in works of art 20 century and in one picture of Vincent van Gogh. Information is vital to understanding Rembrandt’s techniques and can be crucial to preserving and restoring its masterpieces for future generations.
“We didn’t expect to find this ingredient, as it’s very unusual for old masters’ paintings, ”said the main author Victor Gonzalez of the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam and Delft University of Technology told the Daily Mail. “Moreover, our research shows that its presence is not accidental and is not the result of pollution.”
To conduct their research, scientists took tiny paint samples of less than 0.1 mm in size from three paintings by Rembrandt: “Portrait of Martin Soulman” (1634) from the Rijksmuseum , “Bathsheba” (1654) from the Louvre and “Suzanna” (1636) from the Museum of Mauritshuis in the hague.
Using advanced technologies developed at Synchrotron 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 oil in order to turn the mixture into a paste-like paint,” said conservation expert Marin Kotte.
Annelis van Loon from the Rijksmuseum State Museum said that the next step would be to explore other paintings by Rembrandt and his colleagues. “We work 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, Gals and artists belonging to Rembrandt’s circle”.