Famous paintings under attack by mysterious chemical reactions
Today’s Video of the Day comes from the American Chemical Society’s Reactions series and features a look at the mysterious chemical reactions that have been threatening some of the world’s most famous oil paintings.
It all started when an art conservator noticed a famous Rembrandt painting was riddled with microscopic pock marks. Other art conservators reported similar instances of this odd phenomenon on thousands of oil paintings.
As it turns out, the craters on the painting were caused by lead soap that had formed within the artwork when fatty acids from the paint combined with lead ions from pigments. Metal soaps on a painting’s surface can burst through and leave pock marks that severely compromise the quality of the art.
Source: American Chemical Society