JAIC 1999, Volume 38, Number 1, Article 7 (pp. 69 to 82)
JAIC online
Journal of the American Institute for Conservation
JAIC 1999, Volume 38, Number 1, Article 7 (pp. 69 to 82)

PAINT DRIERS DISCUSSED IN 19TH-CENTURY BRITISH OIL PAINTING MANUALS

LESLIE CARLYLE



NOTES

1. The term media is being used here to conform to JAIC style. However, the author prefers the term mediums.

2. Some years ago two 19th-century oil paintings exhibiting disrupted surface textures that could correspond to this description of “seeding” were studied at the Canadian Conservation Institute (CCI). In both, many tiny inclusions in the paint could be seen, which were responsible for the texture effects. These particles were identified as consisting primarily of lead soaps (CCI 1992). Since the mechanism for their formation was not established, it was not clear whether lead based driers were responsible for this defect. Recently, similar inclusions in Rembrandt's Anatomy Lesson of Dr. Nicholas Tulp (1632, Mauritshuis, The Hague) have been investigated where lead soaps, fatty acids, diacids and a large quantity of lead chloride hydroxide were found in the inclusions. Researchers (Noble and Wadum 1998) hypothesize that treatments on linseed oil to render it more drying could be responsible. Further research is needed to establish whether the 19th-century inclusions which are morphologically very similar to those found in the Rembrandt result from the same mechanism. See also Campbell 1997.



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AUTHOR INFORMATION

LESLIE CARLYLE has a B.A. in art history and theater arts from Queen's University, Kingston Ontario, 1973; a bachelor of fine arts (studio art), Concordia University, Montreal, Quebec, 1975; and a master of art conservation, Queen's University, Kingston, Ontario, 1979. She was assistant paintings conservator at the National Historic Parks and Sites from 1979 to 1980. She joined the Canadian Conservation Institute (CCI) as a paintings conservator in 1980. In 1987, she was granted educational leave to pursue a Ph.D. in the Technology and Conservation Department of the Courtauld Institute of Art in London. She resumed her position as paintings conservator with CCI in May 1991. She received her doctorate from the University of London in September 1991. In 1995, she transferred to the Conservation Processes and Materials Research Division at CCI in order to carry out research as a materials historian.


Copyright © 1999 American Institute for Conservation of Historic and Artistic Works