Paintings are multicomponent multilayer systems of high complexity. A painting is usually composed of a support material (wood or canvas), priming ground, various paint layers and a finishing varnish. Our research groups study these systems using various MS techniques in order to determine distribution, state of oxidation, molecular weight distribution and spatial distribution of the various organic compounds in the painting materials. DTMS, FABMS and MALDIMS are used for direct fingerprinting. Compound resolution is achieved with GCMS and LCMS techniques. Spatially resolved studies on cross sections are planned with SIMS and LD-ITMS.


Boon, J. J., van der Hage, E. R. E., van der Doelen, G. A., van den Berg, K.-J., Eijkel, G., Pureveen, J. B. M., … de la Rie, E. R. (1996). Role of MS techniques in the characterisation of fresh and aged natural synthetic varnishes used for paintings. In Proceedings of the 44th ASMS Conference on Mass Spectrometry and Allied Topics, May 12-16, 1996, Portland, Oregon.