We are presently
involved in two international projects in collaboration with the
Munch Museum (Oslo) and the University of Oslo, aimed at
understanding the painting techniques used by Edvard Munch
(1863–1944), in order to select proper approaches for the
restoration of his works.
In particular, we are investigating several sketches owned by
the Munch Museum, prepared by the artist in relation to the
mural decoration of the Aula Magna of the University of Oslo
(1916). Moreover, a specific diagnostic campaign is focused on
the original paint materials from Munch’s atelier (www.munchmuseet.no).
We are using a combined protocol based on both GC/MS and
HPLC-ESI-Q-ToF analytical techniques to detect the fatty acids
and triglycerides profile of the possible lipid binders used by
the artist, and to identify other components of the paints as
proteins, waxes and resins. The molecular changes associated
with ageing will be also evaluated by our comprehensive study.
The analyses reveale that Munch used different types of binding
media in the sketches, alone or in combination, often within the
same painting. The distribution of the triglycerides in the
paint tubes showed the presence of a mixtures of different plant
oils in the formulations, including walnut, palm and linseed
• La Nasa J., “Development of innovative analytical tools based
on chromatography and mass spectrometry for the characterization
and ageing studies of modern materials in artworks”, PhD thesis,
2014, Department of Chemistry and Industrial
Chemistry-University of Pisa.
• Uldanck D., “Caratterizzazione chimica dei materiali pittorici
industriali del XIX-XX secolo mediante tecniche spettroscopiche
e cromatografiche”, Master Thesis. 2014, Department of Chemistry
and Industrial Chemistry-University of Pisa.
• La Nasa J., Zanaboni M., Uldanck D., Degano I., Modugno F.,
Kutzke H., Tveit E.S., Colombini M.P., ”Novel application of
liquid chromatography/mass spectrometry for the characterization
of drying oils in art: elucidation on the composition of
original paint materials used by Edvard Munch”, (1863-944) in