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EXAMINATION FOR CANERATE LIMITED
FURTHER CONSIDERATION OF PAINT MATERIALS
Following the examination of specimens of paint removed from the Tondo painting details of which were contained in Mr. Bland's reports of 24 February and 20 June 1988 further enquiries through some scientific literature have been carried out.
Specifically at this stage details of blue pigments which might have been used in the XVI century have been considered. In this context a pigment is considered as a material to provide a colour to a paint medium rather than it's correct modern definition which refers solely to insoluble particulate coloured material.
The Scanning Electron Microscope examination revealed no signs of solid pigment particles in the blue paint from the edges of the painting (essentially the sky blue background). Analysis by EDAX found no metal element composition apart from some lead together with traces of silicon.
The paint layer was found to be thin and the conclusion reached was that the paint was probably in the form of a coloured varnish or glaze painted over the white base painted directly on to the canvas.
Initial enquiries were not helpful in identifying the type of pigment which would in essence be dissolved in the medium until a copy of "Paint Materials" a short encyclopedia by Gettens and Stout was obtained. This book originally published in 1943 and reprinted without major revision in 1965 does not reflect recent scientific discoveries but nevertheless provides a wealth of detail discovered from manuscripts and other sources together with known dates of use.
Mr H H Bland BSc C Chem FRSC
UK Forensic Science Services Ltd, Melbourn Science Park, Moat Lane, Melbourn, Royston Herts SG8 6EJ
5th September, 1988