Title
Plumbonacrite identified by X-ray powder diffraction tomography as a missing link during degradation of red lead in a Van Gogh painting Plumbonacrite identified by X-ray powder diffraction tomography as a missing link during degradation of red lead in a Van Gogh painting
Author
Faculty/Department
Faculty of Sciences. Chemistry
Publication type
article
Publication
Weinheim ,
Subject
Chemistry
Source (journal)
Angewandte Chemie: international edition in English. - Weinheim
Volume/pages
54(2015) :12 , p. 3607-3610
ISSN
1433-7851
ISI
000351178300008
Carrier
E
Target language
English (eng)
Full text (Publishers DOI)
Affiliation
University of Antwerp
Abstract
Red lead, a semiconductor pigment used by artists since antiquity, is known to undergo several discoloration phenomena. These transformations are either described as darkening of the pigment caused by the formation of either plattnerite (β-PbO2) or galena (PbS) or as whitening by which red lead is converted into anglesite (PbSO4) or (hydro)cerussite (2 PbCO3⋅Pb(OH)2; PbCO3). X-ray powder diffraction tomography, a powerful analytical method that allows visualization of the internal distribution of different crystalline compounds in complex samples, was used to investigate a microscopic paint sample from a Van Gogh painting. A very rare lead mineral, plumbonacrite (3 PbCO3⋅ Pb(OH)2⋅PbO), was revealed to be present. This is the first reported occurrence of this compound in a painting dating from before the mid 20th century. It constitutes the missing link between on the one hand the photoinduced reduction of red lead and on the other hand (hydro)cerussite, and thus sheds new light on the whitening of red lead.
E-info
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