Geranium lake is an eosin-derived organic pigment highly employed by Van Gogh and his contemporaries. Its elusive behavior, observed in a large number of post-impressionism masterpieces, is of current concern for both conservators and heritage scientists. Herein, the lightfastness of Geranium lake within oil matrix has been investigated by means UV–Vis spectroscopic techniques and HPLC-DAD-HRMS with the final aim of understanding the degradation mechanism behind its marked bleaching. Accelerated photo-aging experiments irradiating with mono/polychromatic light have been carried out on oil paint models prepared with lead eosin-based lakes, in-house synthesized for this purpose according to available historical recipes, alone and in admixture with different white pigments namely, zinc oxide and basic lead carbonate. The aging experiment not only reproduced the fugitive nature of Geranium lake but also evidenced a reversible behavior during the preliminary stages of the light exposure. Succeeding targeted experiments employing monochromatic light as well as a simplified eosin-oil system in solution, corroborated by the wide literature regarding the photophysics of xanthene dyes, allowed us to propose a reasonable fading mechanism of eosin-based lakes, based on the key role played by linseed oil and environmental oxygen.

New insights into the fading mechanism of Geranium lake in painting matrix”

Romani, Aldo
2020

Abstract

Geranium lake is an eosin-derived organic pigment highly employed by Van Gogh and his contemporaries. Its elusive behavior, observed in a large number of post-impressionism masterpieces, is of current concern for both conservators and heritage scientists. Herein, the lightfastness of Geranium lake within oil matrix has been investigated by means UV–Vis spectroscopic techniques and HPLC-DAD-HRMS with the final aim of understanding the degradation mechanism behind its marked bleaching. Accelerated photo-aging experiments irradiating with mono/polychromatic light have been carried out on oil paint models prepared with lead eosin-based lakes, in-house synthesized for this purpose according to available historical recipes, alone and in admixture with different white pigments namely, zinc oxide and basic lead carbonate. The aging experiment not only reproduced the fugitive nature of Geranium lake but also evidenced a reversible behavior during the preliminary stages of the light exposure. Succeeding targeted experiments employing monochromatic light as well as a simplified eosin-oil system in solution, corroborated by the wide literature regarding the photophysics of xanthene dyes, allowed us to propose a reasonable fading mechanism of eosin-based lakes, based on the key role played by linseed oil and environmental oxygen.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11391/1472678
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