Author(s): Sanyova J, Cersoy S, Richardin P, Laprvote O, Walter P,
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Abstract The painting materials of the Portrait of Nicolaes van Bambeeck (Royal Museums of Fine Arts of Belgium, Brussels, inv. 155) painted by Rembrandt van Rijn in 1641 has been studied using high resolution cluster-TOF-SIMS imaging. In the first step, a moderate spatial resolution (2 μm) was used to characterize the layer structure and the chemical composition of each layer on account of a high mass resolution. Then, in the second step, and despite a low mass resolution, the cluster primary ion beam was focused well below 1 μm in order to reveal smaller structures in the painting sample. The study confirmed the presence of starch in the second ground layer, which is quite surprising and, at least for Rembrandt paintings, has never been reported before. TOF-SIMS also indicated the presence of proteins, which, added to the size and shape of lake particles, suggests that it was manufactured from shearings (waste of textile manufacturing) of dyed wool, used as the source of the dyestuff. The analyses have also shown various lead carboxylates, being the products of the interaction between lead white and the oil of the binding medium. These findings considerably contribute to the understanding of Rembrandt's studio practice and thus demonstrate the importance and potential of cluster-TOF-SIMS imaging in the characterization on a submicrometer scale of artist painting materials.
This article was published in Anal Chem
and referenced in Journal of Analytical & Bioanalytical Techniques