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Prof. Ilaria Bonaduce

Title of the PhD project:
The chemistry of oil/protein mixtures as paint binders – the “tempera grassa

Abstract of the PhD project:
Tempera grassa is a painting technique entailing in the use of a mixture of a drying oil and protein. Before the introduction of oil paint, the primary medium was egg tempera, a water-soluble binder. The diffusion of tempera grassa is believed to have started in Italy during the 15th century, as a transition between tempera and oil paint.
Tempera grassa is based on the supposition that the addition of oil to egg tempera gradually changes the rheological properties from tempera to oil paints, but this is inconsistent with colloid chemistry. Nowadays there are no evidence of the actual use of tempera grassa by Old Masters. Studies carried out so far demonstrate that both the paint formulation and the preparation process led to paints with different rheological properties and curing behaviours. The chemistry of oil/protein systems in a paint layer are not known in detail yet, preventing our understanding of the use of tempera grassa and other mixed media techniques by Old Masters.
The aim of my project is to understand the use of oil/protein based binders by Old Masters. To achieve this aim, I will implement a methodological approach based on mass spectrometry, thermoanalytical and super resolution imaging, to study the chemical behaviour of paints and paint layers based on oil/protein binders of varying formulation and preparation method.

• L. Vannoni, S. Pizzimenti, G. Caroti, J. La Nasa, C. Duce, I. Bonaduce. “Disclosing the chemistry of oil curing by mass spectrometry using methyl linoleate as a model binder”. Microchemical Journal, 2021.

Oral communications at conferences:

Poster communications at conferences:
• G. Caroti, S. Pizzimenti, C. Duce, I. Bonaduce. “A study on the curing of cadmium red model - oil paints using mass spectrometry techniques”. Chemistry for the Future 2021.

Other achievements: