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GCMS analyses of direct methylated lipids in binders used in 18th–19th century folk painted interiors in Hälsingland, Sweden

Journal article
Authors Yvonne Fors
S. Isaksson
Published in Journal of Archaeological Science: Reports
Volume 23
Pages 127-136
ISSN 2352-409X
Publication year 2019
Published at Department of Conservation
Pages 127-136
Language en
Keywords Binders, Colour, Cultural heritage, GCMS, Lipids, UNESCO
Subject categories Technology and culture, Art History


Paint fragments were collected from painted 18th and 19th century interiors from traditional buildings in Hälsingland, Sweden. The aim was to identify binders used by the artists by direct-methylation and GCMS analyses of the lipid fraction in the samples. The lipid content was categorized as mainly animal, plant-based or mixed. The study indicates that used colour tone and possibly also underlying foundation (wood, paper or textile) is essential for the artists´ choice of binder components. Animal-lipid based compounds were found to be used for a wide variety of colours, including mixed colour and several light colour tones. Animal and sometimes mixed lipids seem also to be characteristic for colour fragments from paper and textiles. Red, black and blue colours are quite common among the mixed-lipid category. However, half of blue, green and black colours were found in the vegetable lipid group. A tendency towards the plant-lipids was also indicated in colour samples painted on wood. Many different forms of terpenoids were found among the wood samples, suggesting that its origin can be traced mainly to wood composites, such as extractives. © 2018 Elsevier Ltd

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