Conservation DistList Archives [Date] [Subject] [Author] [SEARCH]

Subject: Lead on icons

Lead on icons

From: Niccolo Caldararo <caldararo>
Date: Tuesday, October 9, 2001
Kiki Kagiopoulou <kkagiopoulou [at] yahoo__com> writes

>Using Laser Induced Breakdown Spectroscopy in order to identify the
>components of varnish on Byzantine and Russian icons, has detected
>the presence of lead. I wonder where I could find information about
>the use of lead on icons since its presence seems to alter the
>component analysis of the icon.
>A layer has been also detected under the varnish with possible
>colour and gum in its structure which has been used on many icons
>and keeps the icons in a very good condition. I would appreciate any
>ideas concerning these findings on icons structure.

This is a curious topic, and one that is difficult to answer.  Alar
Nurkse in "The study of late provincial icons from the iconostasis
of Kilingi-nomme church in Estonia" in Icon Conservation in Europe,
1999, notes in the x-rays taken of some of the icons reported on
that the white appears to be a lead white in the films.  For the
other question, I refer you to Ivan Bentchev in the same volume and
a wonderful article on the varieties of components in films of the
icon.  Good luck,

Niccolo Caldararo
Director and Chief Conservator
Conservation Art Service

                  Conservation DistList Instance 15:31
                Distributed: Wednesday, October 10, 2001
                       Message Id: cdl-15-31-001
Received on Tuesday, 9 October, 2001

[Search all CoOL documents]

URL: http://