White zinc in linseed oil paintings: chemical, mechanical and aesthetic aspects

Andrea Macchia, Stella Nunziante Cesaro, Yeghis Keheyan, Mauro Francesco La Russa, Silvestro Antonio Ruffolo


The interest of this research derived from the request for a scientific investigation of the observed phenomenon from by few contemporary artists who, in some occasions, observed the formation of crequalure in rethinking areas where a paint layer of different colour was over imposed to a zinc white layer, on commercial canvases. To investigate this phenomenon several investigations to characterized chemical and physical proprieties of commercial white zinc pigments are carried out: XRD, ICP/OES, SEM/EDS, FTIR, GC-MS. Moreover, to several tests were performed in order to evidence the different behavior of the various white pigments referring to the miscibility and to the drying times. The paper shows how the size of the pigment particles affects the formation and the type of the craquelure.


White of zinc, craquelure, oil painting, commercial pigments, analytic investigations

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.2451/2015PM0027

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