JAIC 1979, Volume 19, Number 1, Article 2 (pp. 03 to 13)
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Journal of the American Institute for Conservation
JAIC 1979, Volume 19, Number 1, Article 2 (pp. 03 to 13)


Christopher Tahk


THE AUTHOR IS GRATEFUL for the support of this work provided by an award, in 1976, of a summer faculty research fellowship by the Research Foundation of the State University of New York. He also expresses his sincere appreciation to Caroline and Sheldon Keck for their constant encouragement and support.



OIL PAINTS used in the experiments were all Winsor & Newton products. Information on each given here is that supplied by the manufacturer.

  • White Pigments: All are Winsor & Newton “London Oil Colors.”Zinc White: pure zinc oxide in refined safflower oilTitanium White: a combination of titanium oxide and barium sulfate in refined safflower oilFlake White No. 1 (288 SL): contains lead but ingredents not specified∗
  • Colored Pigments: ∗ All are Winsor & Newton “Artists Oil Colors.”Cobalt Blue (203 SL, Series 3): contents unspecifiedCadmium Yellow Deep (233 SL, Series 3): contents unspecifiedViridian (211 SL, Series 3): contents unspecifiedUltramarine Deep (133 SL, Series 1): contents unspecified

∗Polarized light microscopy and microchemical tests established that these paints included the pigments stated on the label. The ultramarine deep also contained a white pigment (an inert?) having a refractive index below 1.72. The cobalt blue and cadmium yellow deep may also have contained some amount of white filler and organic colorant, respectively, but this was not firmly established.


A. G.Boisonas, “The Treatment of Fire Blistered Oil Paintings,” Studies in Conservation, 8 (1963): 55–66.

T. duP.Cornelius, “Further Developments in the Treatment of Fire Blistered Oil Paintings,” Studies in Conservation, 11 (1966): 31–36.

F. F.Jones and B.Rabin, “On Reclaiming Damaged Paintings,” University, A Princeton Quarterly, No. 59 (1974): p. 22–27.

AKetnath, “The Treatment of a Fire-Damaged Picture Painted on Masonite Board,” Studies in Conservation, 23 (1978): p. 168–173.

A. P.Laurie, The Painter's Methods and Materials, J. B. Lippincott Company, Philadelphia (1926): p. 38.

M.Phillips and C.Whitney, “The Restoration of Original Paints at Otis House,” Old-Time New England, The Bulletin of the SPNEA, 62, no. 1 (1971): p. 25–28.

M.Phillips, “Problems in Paint Restoration,” Preservation and Conservation: Principles and Practice, S.Timmons, ed., Smithsonian Institution Press, Washington (1976): p. 274–285.

H. W.Levison, Artists Pigments. Lightfastness Tests and Ratings, COLORLAB, Hallandale, Florida (1976).

The drying oil in the Winsor & Newton tube oil paints used in the study (see the Appendix) was either safflower oil or was unspecified, probably linseed oil. As all common artists' drying oils are unsaturated triglycerides with similar structures and chemistry, which ones were used in the experiments should have little influence on the results obtained.

Winsor & Newton “Artists' Rectified Turpentine” and “Artists' Linseed Oil” were used.

Labline Imperial II Radiant Heat Oven, Labline Instruments Incorporated, Melrose Park, Illinois, equipped with a 1650 watt auxiliary wire coil heater and small fan.

General Electric Company publication TP-111, Fluorescent Lamps, Lamp Business Division, Nela Park, Cleveland, Ohio (1973): p. 8–9.

Measurements obtained with a Gossen Luna-Pro sbc model exposure meter, Berkey Marketing Company, Woodside, New York.

This figure was obtained using data taken from the IES Lighting Handbook, 5th ed., J. E.Kaufman and J. F.Christensen, eds., Illuminating Engineering Society, New York (1972): p. 8–109.

Total reflectance spectra were also recorded. These and visual examination of the paint did show change in surface texture and reflectance occurred in some runs but these were small.

For an introductory discussion of the CIE Color Systems see Principles of Color Technology, F. W.Billmeyer, Jr., and M.Saltzman, Interscience Publishers, New York (1966): esp. p. 33ff.

Ref. 8: p. 24.

B.Ranby and J. F.Rabek, “Photooxidative Degradation of Polymers by Singlet Oxygen,” Ch. 26 in Ultraviolet Light Induced Reactions, S. S.Labana, ed., American Chemical Society, Washington (1976): p. 391ff.

G. S.Egerton, “The Role of Hydrogen Peroxide in the Photochemical Bleaching of Cotton Sensitized by Vat Dyes and Some Metallic Oxides,” Journal of the Textile Institute, 39 (1948): T305ff.

Refs. 12 and 14.

Copyright 1979 American Institute for Conservation of Historic and Artistic Works