Review of the use of NMR spectroscopy to investigate structure, reactivity, and dynamics of lead soap formation in paintings

Jaclyn Catalano, Valeria Di Tullio, Molly Wagner, Nicholas Zumbulyadis, Silvia A. Centeno, Cecil Dybowski

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

Abstract

Heavy metal carboxylate or soap formation is a widespread deterioration problem affecting oil paintings and other works of art bearing oil-based media. Lead soaps are prevalent in traditional oil paintings because lead white was the white pigment most frequently chosen by old masters for the paints and in some cases for the ground preparations, until the development of other white pigments from approximately the middle of the 18th century on, and because of the wide use of lead-tin yellow. In the latter part of the 19th century, lead white began to be replaced by zinc white. The factors that influence soap formation have been the focus of intense study starting in the late 1990s. Since 2014, nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) studies have contributed a unique perspective on the issue by providing chemical, structural, and dynamic information about the species involved in the process, as well as the effects of environmental conditions such as relative humidity and temperature on the kinetics of the reaction(s). In this review, we explore recent insights into soap formation gained through solid-state NMR and single-sided NMR techniques.

Original languageEnglish
JournalMagnetic Resonance in Chemistry
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - 1 Jan 2020

Keywords

  • Sn
  • C
  • Pb
  • lead white
  • lead-tin yellow
  • linseed oil
  • NMR
  • paintings
  • single-sided NMR
  • soaps

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Review of the use of NMR spectroscopy to investigate structure, reactivity, and dynamics of lead soap formation in paintings'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

  • Cite this