Old masters never used the green pigment copper resinate supposed to be present in their paintings. Dutch art historian Margriet van Eikema Hommes reached this conclusion on the basis of old paint recipes, investigations of paintings and experiments to reproduce the green paint. The scientist recently published her results in a richly-illustrated book.
Green copper-containing glazed paint on oil paintings by artists such as Frans Hals, Raphael and Titian was not made by dissolving the pigment verdigris - a green copper salt - in warm varnish to produce copper resinate. A careful study of dozens of previously ignored old paint recipes demonstrates that the paint was in fact made from finely-powdered verdigris mixed with a cold oil or vanish.
Van Eikema Hommes discovered that the copper resinate myth arose in about 1914. The chemist Laurie found two recipes for green paint in which verdigris was dissolved in warm varnish; a method which results in copper resinate. Laurie and many after him failed to see that these two recipes were intended for glass, furniture and metal foil and that there were dozens of other recipes for paintings on panels or canvas.
Dr Margriet van Eikema Hommes | alfa
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