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Cracking the Secret to Renaissance Art: Why Some Paintings were Egged

Mar. 29, 2023.
1 min. read Interactions

Adding egg to oil paints helped Renaissance artists prevent yellowing and cracking. However ...

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Lewis Farrell

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Highly curious about things that increase my awareness, expand my perception, and make me open to being a better person.

Researchers from Germany’s Karlsruhe Institute of Technology compared oil-egg recipes to plain oil paint and discovered that adding egg yolk to oil paint slowed oxidation and created strong links between pigment particles. The paint became stiffer, making it ideal for impasto techniques.

Adding egg yolk also reduced wrinkling, which can occur when oil paints dry at different rates. But too much egg yolk may cause the paint to take longer to dry, making it difficult for artists to add the next layer. One of many hidden secrets in Renaissance art that have yet to be discovered.

Understanding the scientific properties of Renaissance art materials can help with art preservation efforts. It can also allow people to appreciate the creative process and final product of these masterpieces.

Source: Science News
Images: MidJourney, Prompts by Lewis Farrell

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