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Thursday, June 1 • 3:30pm - 4:00pm
(Research & Technical Studies) Understanding the Reactivity and the Dynamics of Lead Soaps in Oil Paintings

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Authors: J. Catalano, A. Murphy, Y. Yao, N. Zumbulyadis, S.A. Centeno (presenting), C. Dybowski

To understand the mechanisms and factors that trigger soap formation and the dynamics of the reactive compounds in oil paintings, we used advanced solid state nuclear magnetic resonance (ssNMR) and X-ray techniques, complemented by FTIR spectroscopy. We explored soap formation in model paint films at different relative humidity conditions by 13C NMR and studied the dynamics and mobility of relevant fatty acids and soaps, namely palmitic acid and lead palmitate, in a linseed oil matrix at different temperatures (T) by 2H NMR. The results show the extent of mobility of palmitic acid and lead palmitate in the paint matrix, how they differ, and how they depend on T. Examination with techniques such as solid-state 207Pb, 119Sn, and 13C NMR, and X-ray diffraction provided the basis for interpreting dynamics in terms of the effects of structure and lead ion coordination environments [1-5]. The ssNMR results obtained in model paint samples directly correlate with features of the IR data, so they are useful to further interpret FTIR spectra acquired in microsamples removed from works of art. Also, the ssNMR data sets the basis for minimally invasive NMR studies in microsamples with the development of dynamic nuclear polarization (DNP) techniques. The results will be discussed in the context of their implications for the conservation and preservation of the works of art affected by lead soap formation.
  1. Catalano, J. et al. Appl. Spectrosc. 2014, 68, 280-287. 
  2. Catalano, J. et al. Materials Issues in Art and Archaeology X; Vandiver, P., Li, W., Sciau, P., Maines, C., Eds.; Materials Research Society: Warrendale, Pennsylvania, 2014. 
  3. Catalano, J. et al. J. Phys. Chem. A 2014, 118, 7952-7958. 
  4. Catalano, J. et al. Materials Science and Technology Conference Proceedings, Pittsburgh, PA, USA, 2014, 2161-2168. 
  5. Catalano, J. et al. J. Chem. Soc. Dalton Trans. 2015, 44, 2340-2347.

avatar for Silvia Centeno

Silvia Centeno

Research Scientist, Metropolitan Museum of Art, Department of Scientific Research
Silvia A. Centeno is currently a Research Scientist in Department of Scientific Research (DSR) at The Metropolitan Museum of Art (The Met), in New York, where her main responsibilities include the investigation of the material aspects of works of art, with a focus on paintings, works... Read More →

avatar for Jaclyn Catalano

Jaclyn Catalano

Assistant Professor, Chemistry and Biochemistry, Montclair State University
avatar for Cecil Dybowski

Cecil Dybowski

Francis Alison Professor, University of Delaware
As a physical chemist specializing in spectroscopy, particularly NMR spectroscopy of solids, Dybowski and his laboratory are currently involved in studies to understand the nature of the formation of soaps in paint films that affect many oil paintings.
avatar for Anna Murphy

Anna Murphy

Researcher, University of Delaware
avatar for Yao Yao

Yao Yao

Researcher, University of Delaware
avatar for Nicholas Zumbulyadis

Nicholas Zumbulyadis

Independent Researcher
Dr. Nicholas Zumbulyadis obtained his Diploma in Chemistry in 1971 at the Technical University of Darmstadt, in Germany, and his Ph.D. in Physical Chemistry from Columbia University in 1974. In March 1976 he joined the Eastman Kodak Research Laboratories where he worked as a research... Read More →

Thursday June 1, 2017 3:30pm - 4:00pm CDT
Regency D Ballroom Level, West Tower