Van Gogh’s Pigment Up Close

van gogh

Red lead is most familiar to us in orange-red rustproof paint. Artists have treasured the brilliant color of this pigment for their paintings since ancient times. However, various aging processes cause discoloration of the saturated hue over time. Thanks to a combination of X-ray diffraction mapping and tomography experiments at DESY´s synchrotron light source PETRA III, Belgian scientists have now explained an additional step in the light-induced degradation of lead red.

Highly technical and loads of big words, but interesting all the same. Read on the find out more.

“Wheat Stack under a Cloudy Sky” by Van Gogh was the topic of this study. Image above courtesy Kröller-Müller Museum, Otterlo, Netherlands

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