Characterisation of preparation layers in nine Danish Golden Age canvas paintings by SEM–EDX, FTIR and GC–MS
- by SEM–EDX, FTIR, +5 authors A. Vila
This paper presents a GC-MS analytical procedure for determining proteinaceous materials, glycerolipids, natural waxes and terpenoid resins in the same paint micro-sample. The procedure is also reliable when high amounts of interfering inorganic pigments, dryers and charges are present. The characterisation of proteinaceous binders in a paint sample can be subject to analytical interferences by inorganic materials. Such materials may form complexes with functional groups of proteins, thus preventing their efficient derivatisation, which is necessary prior to GC analysis. For this reason an analytical procedure has been developed based on two extractions and a clean-up step, in order to obtain two fractions: a lipid-resinous fraction and a proteinaceous fraction. The lipid-resinous fraction is subjected to salification/saponification assisted by microwaves, followed by acidification, extraction, derivatisation and GC-MS analysis. The proteinaceous fraction is analysed by GC-MS after hydrolysis and derivatisation of the freed amino acids. The desalting step is applied before the hydrolysis, and is based on the use of the monolithic sorbent tip technology with a C4 stationary phase. Reference paint replicas of egg, casein and animal glue were prepared with and without several metals containing pigments, and used to develop and validate the analytical procedure. The procedure proved to be efficient in desalting the proteinaceous materials both from cations and anions. Although non quantitative, it is reliable in the analysis of samples whose content of extractable proteins is <1 microg, thus showing it to be suitable for the characterisation of paint samples. An example of how the analytical procedure was used to characterise a sample from a 15th century panel painting is also discussed.