Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Science used to reveal masterpiece's true colors: Chemist uncovers paint details of Renoir masterpiece at Art Institute of Chicago

Date:
February 13, 2014
Source:
Northwestern University
Summary:
Chemists have been using a powerful scientific method to investigate masterpieces by Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Winslow Homer and Mary Cassatt. They recently identified the chemical components of paint, now partially faded, used by Renoir in his painting "Madame Léon Clapisson." The artist used carmine lake, a brilliant but light-sensitive red pigment.

Scientists are using powerful analytical and imaging tools to study artworks from all ages, delving deep below the surface to reveal the process and materials used by some of the world's greatest artists.

Northwestern University chemist Richard P. Van Duyne, in collaboration with conservation scientists at the Art Institute of Chicago, has been using a scientific method he discovered nearly four decades ago to investigate masterpieces by Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Winslow Homer and Mary Cassatt.

Van Duyne recently identified the chemical components of paint, now partially faded, used by Renoir in his oil painting "Madame Léon Clapisson." Van Duyne discovered the artist used carmine lake, a brilliant but light-sensitive red pigment, on this colorful canvas. The scientific investigation is the cornerstone of a new exhibition at the Art Institute of Chicago.

Van Duyne will discuss his research on Renoir's painting as well as his studies of Winslow Homer's watercolor "For to be a Farmer's Boy" and Mary Cassatt's pastel "Sketch of Margaret Sloane, Looking Right"at a Feb. 13 press briefing at the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) annual meeting in Chicago. The briefing, "Paintings: At and Under the Surface," will be held at 10 a.m. CST in Vevey Room 3 of the Swissôtel Chicago.

Van Duyne also will speak about "Detecting Organic Dyestuffs in Art with Surface-Enhanced Raman Spectroscopy" Friday, Feb. 14, at the AAAS meeting.

To see what the naked eye cannot see, Van Duyne used surface-enhanced Raman spectroscopy (SERS) to uncover details of Renoir's paint. SERS, discovered by Van Duyne in 1977, is widely recognized as the most sensitive form of spectroscopy capable of identifying molecules.

The show runs Feb. 12 through April 27 at the Art Institute of Chicago, 111 S. Michigan Ave. More information is available at http://www.artic.edu/exhibition/renoir-s-true-colors-science-solves-mystery.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Northwestern University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Northwestern University. "Science used to reveal masterpiece's true colors: Chemist uncovers paint details of Renoir masterpiece at Art Institute of Chicago." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 13 February 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/02/140213112733.htm>.
Northwestern University. (2014, February 13). Science used to reveal masterpiece's true colors: Chemist uncovers paint details of Renoir masterpiece at Art Institute of Chicago. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 22, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/02/140213112733.htm
Northwestern University. "Science used to reveal masterpiece's true colors: Chemist uncovers paint details of Renoir masterpiece at Art Institute of Chicago." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/02/140213112733.htm (accessed August 22, 2014).

Share This




More Matter & Energy News

Friday, August 22, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Former TSA X-Ray Scanners Easily Tricked To Miss Weapons

Former TSA X-Ray Scanners Easily Tricked To Miss Weapons

Newsy (Aug. 21, 2014) — Researchers found the scanners could be duped simply by placing a weapon off to the side of the body or encasing it under a plastic shield. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Flower Power! Dandelions Make Car Tires?

Flower Power! Dandelions Make Car Tires?

Reuters - Business Video Online (Aug. 20, 2014) — Forget rolling on rubber, could car drivers soon be traveling on tires made from dandelions? Teams of scientists are racing to breed a type of the yellow flower whose taproot has a milky fluid with tire-grade rubber particles in it. As Joanna Partridge reports, global tire makers are investing millions in research into a new tire source. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Awesome New Camouflage Sheet Was Inspired By Octopus Skin

Awesome New Camouflage Sheet Was Inspired By Octopus Skin

Newsy (Aug. 19, 2014) — Scientists have developed a new device that mimics the way octopuses blend in with their surroundings to hide from dangerous predators. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Researcher Testing on-Field Concussion Scanners

Researcher Testing on-Field Concussion Scanners

AP (Aug. 19, 2014) — Four Texas high school football programs are trying out an experimental system designed to diagnose concussions on the field. The technology is in response to growing concern over head trauma in America's most watched sport. (Aug. 19) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins