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The Chemistry and Mechanism of Art Materials
Unsuspected Properties and Outcomes




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ISBN 9780367513450
December 21, 2021 Forthcoming by CRC Press
216 Pages 37 Color & 107 B/W Illustrations

 
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Book Description

This unique book presents an integrated approach to the chemistry of art materials, exploring the many chemical processes involved. The Chemistry and Mechanism of Art Materials: Unsuspected Properties and Outcomes engages readers with historical vignettes detailing examples of unexpected outcomes due to materials used by known artists.

The book discusses artists’ materials focusing on relevant chemical mechanisms which underlie the synthesis and deterioration of inorganic pigments in paintings, the ageing of the binder in oil paintings, and sulfation of wall paintings as well as the toxicology of these pigments and solvents used by artists. Mechanisms illustrate the stepwise structural transformation of a variety of art materials.

Based on the author’s years of experience teaching college chemistry, the approach is descriptive and non-mathematical throughout. An introductory section includes a review of basic concepts and provides concise descriptions of analytical methods used in contemporary art conservation.

Additional features include:

  • Illustrations of chemical reactivity associated with art materials
  • Includes a review of chemical bonding principles, redox and mechanism writing
  • Covers analytical techniques used by art conservation scientists
  • Accessible for readers with a limited science background
  • Provides numerous references for readers seeking additional information

Table of Contents

Chapter 1   Essential Concepts

Chemical Bonding, Solubility, Properties of Solids,

Hard and Soft Acids and Bases

Oxidation-Reduction

Chemical Reaction Mechanisms

Experimental Methods Used to Characterize Works of Art

 

Chapter 2  Preparation of Inorganic Pigments

Introduction

Black Pigments

Antimony Black

Carbon Blacks

Cobalt Black

Iron Oxide, Magnetite

Manganese Black

 

Blue Pigments

Azurite

Cerulean Blue

Egyptian Blue

Prussian Blue

Smalt

Ultramarine

Verdigris

Brown Pigments

Iron (III) Oxide Pigments

Lead Dioxide

 

Green Pigments

Chromium Oxide

Hydrated Chromium Oxide, Viridian

Malachite, see Azurite

Paris Green

Verdigris

 

Red Pigments

α-Cinnabar and Vermilion

Red Lead

Iron (III) Oxide, Hematite

α-Realgar, see Orpiment

 

Violet Pigments

Pigment Violet 14

 

White Pigments

Antimony White

Barium White

Lithopone

Titanium White

White Lead

Zinc White

Zinc Sulfide

 

Yellow Pigments

Bismuth Vanadate

Cadmium Pigments

Cobalt Yellow

Iron (III) Oxide

Lead Chromate

Lead Tin Yellow  type I

Lead Tin Yellow type II

Lead Monoxide, Litharge and Massicot

Lead Tin Antimonate, Naples Yellow

Orpiment

Titanium Yellow

 

Chapter 3   Silica, Silicates and Aluminosilicates

Introduction

Silica

Silicates

Pigment-Silicate Interactions

Pottery Glazes

Aluminosilicates

 

Chapter 4  Discoloration Stories

Introduction

Smalt

Red Lead

Realgar

Cinnabar

Hematite

Chrome Yellow

Silverpoint

Cadmium Yellow

Blackening of Pigments by H2S

Ultramarine

Azurite and Malachite

Medieval Pigments

 

Chapter 5     Toxicology of Art Materials

Introduction

Organics

Methylene Chloride

Carbon Tetrachloride

Trichloroethylene

n-Hexane

N-Methylpyrrolidone

Diisocyanates

Alcohols, Glycols and Glycol Ethers

Mineral Spirits

 

Inorganics

Lead

Zinc, Cadmium and Mercury Familial Properties

Cadmium

Mercury

Silver

Arsenic

Chromium

 

Chapter 6   Ageing of Oil Paint

Oxidative Degradation of Oil Binder

Metal Soap formation

 

Chapter 7   Ageing of Wall Paintings

Secco and Fresco methods

Reversal of Sulfation

Deposition of Water Soluble Salts

Degradation of Oil Binder

...
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Author(s)

Biography

Michael Malin received a BS from City College of New York and a Ph.D. from Rutgers (Biochemistry). This was followed by postdoctorals at Rutgers (Organic) and then Brandeis (Bio-organic). He taught chemistry at Western Connecticut State College/University (16 years) and at Sarah Lawrence College (2 years). He covered courses in general, organic and biochemistry. At SLC, he taught a course in the chemistry of art materials, and this book came out of that experience. When not teaching, he was employed by Technicon Instruments Corporation/Bayer Diagnostics for 23 years. His role was generally to solve stability problems related to both liquid reagent formulations and machine parts in the development of automated blood analyzers. The scope of these problems varied widely; from the instability of a photo-polymerizable acrylic adhesive to the erosion of alumina shear valves. When he left industry, he resumed thinking about art materials, and found common chemical/mechanistic themes relating to stability problems. Eventually, this book was the result. His hobbies include: international travel, playing double bass in jazz groups, salsa dancing and cycling.