On the discovery of titanium dioxide and its use in paintings
Bruni S., Maino G., Marghella G., Marzo A., Moretti L.
Poster Conferenza Internazionale con referaggio
The scientific study of pigments and materials used by painters in their works is clearly important for the knowledge of the different artistic techniques and for the planning of accurate interventions of cleaning and restoration of the paintings. Moreover, identification of industrial varnishes and pigments in artistic works often help the art historian and the conservator to date the considered paintings or, at least, to define post quem chronology, so identifying in some cases fakes or copies. Nowadays, a very controversial item is the exact dating of introduction of titanium white since many artists such as Modigliani and Picasso made use of it in their paintings even before a large industrial production of it began. In this article we discuss the history of titanium white and present a few original results obtained in the ENEA Bologna laboratory of microscopy, in order to elucidate the use by painters of this pigment and to present a new contribution to the solution of this problem. In particular, we performed SEM and microanalysis investigations on paintings attributed to Sargent, Picasso and Modigliani of the Italian and then French periods in order to establish possible author and period of execution.
Bruni S., Indirli M., Maino G., Marghella G., Marzo A. , Moretti L. "On the discovery of titanium dioxide and its use in paintings" EMAS 2012 Regional workshop