Academic thesis

Anke Schäning: Synthetic organic colorants of a 19th/20th century collection: Identification, classification and investigations into their use and acceptance in early 20th century (artists’) paints Back
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Collection of synthetic organic pigments and dyes
Abstract: The main focus of this PhD-project is on the examination of the synthetic organic pigments and dyes of a historical material collection owned by the Institute of Science and Technology in Art (ISTA) at the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna. The identification and classification of the colorants were facilitated by Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR) and energy dispersive x-ray fluorescence analysis (XRF). The analytical results obtained were compiled in a database. In addition, a comprehensive study on the use of synthetic organic pigments and lakes in artists’ paints of the early 20th century was encouraged. Aspects of the acceptance of synthetic organic colorants in artists’ paint were taken into account. The significance of those so-called ‘tar coal colors’ as subject of the early 20th century painting material quality discussion was revealed by reviewing German sources, painting technique journals and archival material of the period from 1884 to ~1940. Results of this study offer an in-depth understanding of the history of acceptance in the context of the use of the synthetic organic colorants through the early 20th century.
Finally, paintings of the 1920ies (Wien Museum Collection) were investigated by a combination of XRF, FTIR and Polarized light microscopy (PLM) in order to study the potential and limitations of those analytical methods for the detection and identification of synthetic organic colorants in paint layers of paintings from the 1920ies period. An approach is presented to facilitate classification of organic pigments by multivariate statistical analysis of their FTIR spectra by K-nearest neighbour classification (KNN) and partial least-squares regression discriminant analysis (PLS-DA).


Keywords: Synthetic organic pigments, tar coal colors, colorants/artists paints’, k-Nearest-Neighbor-algorithm/Partial least squares Discriminant Analysis (PLS-DA), FTIR
  • academic institution: Akademie der bildenden Künste Wien
  • kind of theses:  Dissertation
  • main Tutor:  Univ.Prof. Univ.Doz. DI Dr. Manfred Schreiner
  • assistant Tutor:  Univ.Prof. i.R. Dr. Kurt Varmuza
  • date:  2010
  • Language:  German
  • pages:  302
  • pictures:  64
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Creative Commons Lizenzvertrag This work is licensed under a Creative Commons BY-NC-ND 3.0 Germany License.
DOI (Digital Object Identifier) 10.5165/hawk-hhg/229

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