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Subject: Vermillion


From: Gwen M. Tauber <g.tauber>
Date: Thursday, June 17, 2004
This is a request for additional observations of a particular
surface phenomenon. The phenomenon was recently noted on a 17th
century Dutch oil painting by C. Fabritius. It consists of numerous
open pits, pockets or craters in the surface of the paint containing
pure vermilion (readily visible under a stereo-microscope)
particles. Some of these craters are so large as even to be visible
with the naked eye (once you know what you're looking for). In
discussion with colleagues it has become clear that perhaps the same
phenomenon (the pigment has not as yet been tested) was noted during
a recent restoration of a Teniers painting. Does the description
sound familiar to anyone else? Is anyone familiar with any
literature regarding such a red phenomenon? Any theories as to what
could explain their presence?

Gwen Tauber
Senior Paintings Restorer
Rijksmuseum Amsterdam
Postbus 74888
1070 DN Amsterdam
The Netherlands
+31 20 6747289
Fax: +31 20 6747001

                  Conservation DistList Instance 18:2
                   Distributed: Friday, June 18, 2004
                        Message Id: cdl-18-2-020
Received on Thursday, 17 June, 2004

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