In addition to creating some of the most beautiful and famous works of art in Western history. “Old Masters” such as Leonardo da Vinci, Caravaggio and Sandro Botticelli had one thing in common. That is, they like to use eggs in their paintings.
especially Artists mix egg yolks into paint to create a medium known as tempera eggs. This technique has been around since ancient Egypt. and can be found in many paintings by old masters, such as Boticelli’s “Birth of Venus”.
We know this because an analysis of contemporary compositions of their paintings reveals that there are additional proteins in art. Although the reason for their use of the yolk has long been understood. But a new study published Tuesday in the journal Nature Communications may reveal why
The authors of the study found that Old Masters may have added egg yolk to their paintings to preserve the moisture, wrinkling and ironic yellowing of the painting. The yolk protein prevents the uptake of water from damp areas. This is common in places like Italy, where many Old Masters make crafts.
“In the last century Artists may not be able to control the moisture their pigments receive,” the study authors wrote. They added that it was an improvement by adding oil to their paintings. This may result in discoloration. cracking and even wrinkles
“Adding some protein materials during pigment preparation which results in a coating layer May resolve accidental capillary suspension formation This results in better and more stable colors with higher pigment content,” the paper states.
to achieve research results The authors analyzed paintings of old masters such as Boticelli’s “The Lamentations of Christ” and Da Vinci’s “Madonna of the Carnation” along with chemical and molecular data from laboratory-produced tempera eggs. They found that egg protein forms a thin protective layer. Basically surrounding the color while also adding texture. This helps prevent creasing. Meanwhile, the antioxidants in egg yolks stop the yolks from yellowing over time by slowing down the air-oil interaction in the paint.
The discovery provides insight into the craftsmanship of some of the greatest artists who ever lived. It suggests that while da Vinci and his contemporaries may be gone by now, There is still much we can learn from their process and art. According to the old adage: You have to crack a few eggs if you want to make an omelet – and it’s clearly a masterpiece.