Title
Identification of artificial orpiment in the interior decorations of the Japanese tower in Laeken, Brussels, Belgium Identification of artificial orpiment in the interior decorations of the Japanese tower in Laeken, Brussels, Belgium
Author
Faculty/Department
Faculty of Sciences. Chemistry
Publication type
article
Publication
Subject
Chemistry
Art
Source (journal)
Heritage science
Volume/pages
3(2015) , 9 p.
ISSN
2050-7445
2050-7445
Article Reference
9
Carrier
E-only publicatie
Target language
English (eng)
Full text (Publishers DOI)
Affiliation
University of Antwerp
Abstract
In this paper, we used a multi-technique approach in order to identify the arsenic sulfide pigment used in the decorative panels of the Japanese tower in Laeken, Belgium. Our attention was drawn to this particular pigment because of its relatively good conservation state, despite its known tendency to fade over time when exposed to light. The pigment was used with different painting techniques, bound with oil and urushi in the lacquers and with an aqueous binder in the mat relief panels. In the latter case it is always applied as an underlayer mixed with ultramarine blue. This quite unusual pigment mixture also shows a good state of preservation. In this study, the orpiment used for the Japanese tower has been identified as an amorphous arsenic sulfide glass (AsxSx) with the aid of light microscopy, PLM, SEM-EDX and Raman microscopy. The pigment features different degrees of As4S4 monomer units in its structure, also known as realgar-like nano-phases. This most likely indicates different synthesis processes as the formation of these As4S4 monomers is dependent of the quenching temperature (Tq) to which the artificial pigment is exposed during the preparation phase.
Full text (open access)
https://repository.uantwerpen.be/docman/irua/5fea26/9848.pdf
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