Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Colourful wall hangings contain toxic substances

12.11.2012
Traditional Swedish bonad paintings can contain toxic substances such as arsenic, reveals new research from the University of Gothenburg, Sweden, in which painting conservator and conservation scientist Ingalill Nyström analysed the paint and techniques used in the traditional painted wall hangings from southern Sweden.

Previous research into bonad painting has always originated in the humanities, from an art/cultural history perspective.

Bonad paintings are painted wall hangings that tell a story, often with a biblical theme, and were put up in farmhouses on special occasions such as Christmas. However, there has, to date, been little information available about the paint and materials used.

“It’s important to know about the materials used in these wall-hangings so that we can preserve them,” says Ingalill Nyström from the University of Gothenburg’s Department of Conservation. “We need to know whether they run the risk of being bleached or broken down by different kinds of exposure, treatment or conservation method. It’s also important for the people who handle them to know whether any of the substances in them could be harmful or toxic.”

Several toxic pigments have been found in the wall hangings studied, including orpiment and emerald green, which contain arsenic. Orpiment was very common in yellow pigment in painted wall hangings throughout the 18th century and well into the 19th century too. Emerald green appears in some 19th century wall hangings.

“So it’s important to be careful when handling them. Several of the pigments and dyes are also sensitive to light, and the binding agent in the hangings is sensitive to damp and moisture.”

Ingalill Nyström’s thesis is the first of its kind. Previous research into bonad painting has always originated in the humanities, from an art/cultural history perspective.

Her aim was to investigate the technology, materials and painting techniques used in the wall hangings.

“The quality and characteristics of the materials used can play a role in both these paintings’ technical opportunities and their limitations. In my book I describe the various raw materials, approaches, potential painting tools and other aids that could have been used,” says Ingalill Nyström.

She also discusses how the paints may have been mixed and applied to the wall hangings.

Ingalill Nyström’s work is a cross-disciplinary study that combines art technological source research with spectroscopic analysis methods. She has examined more than 70 bonad paintings originating from southern Sweden between 1700 and 1870, and also 700 paint samples.

The materials used often comprised paint made with cheap pigments mixed up with egg and sometimes a touch of flour. The paint was generally applied to recycled linen, which had been primed with flour glue. Typically, templates were used for the figures in the scenes depicted.

Contact:
Ingalill Nyström, Department of Conservation, University of Gothenburg,
tel: +46 (0)31 786 5701,
mobile: +46 (0)730 478 609
ingalill.nystrom@conservation.gu.se

Helena Aaberg | idw
Further information:
http://www.gu.se

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Novel 'repair system' discovered in algae may yield new tools for biotechnology
29.07.2016 | Boyce Thompson Institute

nachricht Molecular troublemakers instead of antibiotics?
29.07.2016 | Christian-Albrechts-Universität zu Kiel

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Self-assembling nano inks form conductive and transparent grids during imprint

Transparent electronics devices are present in today’s thin film displays, solar cells, and touchscreens. The future will bring flexible versions of such devices. Their production requires printable materials that are transparent and remain highly conductive even when deformed. Researchers at INM – Leibniz Institute for New Materials have combined a new self-assembling nano ink with an imprint process to create flexible conductive grids with a resolution below one micrometer.

To print the grids, an ink of gold nanowires is applied to a substrate. A structured stamp is pressed on the substrate and forces the ink into a pattern. “The...

Im Focus: The Glowing Brain

A new Fraunhofer MEVIS method conveys medical interrelationships quickly and intuitively with innovative visualization technology

On the monitor, a brain spins slowly and can be examined from every angle. Suddenly, some sections start glowing, first on the side and then the entire back of...

Im Focus: Newly discovered material property may lead to high temp superconductivity

Researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) Ames Laboratory have discovered an unusual property of purple bronze that may point to new ways to achieve high temperature superconductivity.

While studying purple bronze, a molybdenum oxide, researchers discovered an unconventional charge density wave on its surface.

Im Focus: Mapping electromagnetic waveforms

Munich Physicists have developed a novel electron microscope that can visualize electromagnetic fields oscillating at frequencies of billions of cycles per second.

Temporally varying electromagnetic fields are the driving force behind the whole of electronics. Their polarities can change at mind-bogglingly fast rates, and...

Im Focus: Continental tug-of-war - until the rope snaps

Breakup of continents with two speed: Continents initially stretch very slowly along the future splitting zone, but then move apart very quickly before the onset of rupture. The final speed can be up to 20 times faster than in the first, slow extension phase.phases

Present-day continents were shaped hundreds of millions of years ago as the supercontinent Pangaea broke apart. Derived from Pangaea’s main fragments Gondwana...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Clash of Realities 2016: 7th Conference on the Art, Technology and Theory of Digital Games

29.07.2016 | Event News

GROWING IN CITIES - Interdisciplinary Perspectives on Urban Gardening

15.07.2016 | Event News

SIGGRAPH2016 Computer Graphics Interactive Techniques, 24-28 July, Anaheim, California

15.07.2016 | Event News

 
Latest News

Vortex laser offers hope for Moore's Law

29.07.2016 | Power and Electrical Engineering

Novel 'repair system' discovered in algae may yield new tools for biotechnology

29.07.2016 | Life Sciences

Clash of Realities 2016: 7th Conference on the Art, Technology and Theory of Digital Games

29.07.2016 | Event News

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>