Title
Evidence for degradation of the chrome yellows in Van Gogh's sunflowers : a study using noninvasive in situ methods and synchrotron-radiation-based x-ray techniques Evidence for degradation of the chrome yellows in Van Gogh's sunflowers : a study using noninvasive in situ methods and synchrotron-radiation-based x-ray techniques
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) :47 , p. 13923-13927
ISSN
1433-7851
ISI
000367722500009
Carrier
E
Target language
English (eng)
Full text (Publishers DOI)
Affiliation
University of Antwerp
Abstract
This paper presents firm evidence for the chemical alteration of chrome yellow pigments in Van Gogh's Sunflowers (Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam). Noninvasive in situ spectroscopic analysis at several spots on the painting, combined with synchrotron-radiation-based X-ray investigations of two microsamples, revealed the presence of different types of chrome yellow used by Van Gogh, including the lightfast PbCrO4 and the sulfur-rich PbCr1-xSxO4 (x approximate to 0.5) variety that is known for its high propensity to undergo photoinduced reduction. The products of this degradation process, i.e., Cr-III compounds, were found at the interface between the paint and the varnish. Selected locations of the painting with the highest risk of color modification by chemical deterioration of chrome yellow are identified, thus calling for careful monitoring in the future.
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