Journal of Thermal Analysis and Calorimetry

, Volume 104, Issue 2, pp 541–546 | Cite as

TG–DSC analysis applied to contemporary oil paints

  • Francesca Caterina Izzo
  • Elisabetta Zendri
  • Guido Biscontin
  • Eleonora Balliana


Thermogravimetry coupled with differential scanning calorimetry (TG–DSC) has been commonly used in the field of conservation of Cultural Heritage for the study of art objects, especially for the characterisation of inorganic matrixes. In recent years, thermal analyses have been applied to the study of organic painting materials. The advantages of performing TG–DSC are linked to the fact that it is micro-destructive technique which does not require any treatment prior the analysis and provide useful information in relatively short time. The aim of this study is to describe the application of TG–DSC on the study of oil binders used in contemporary paints. Even if synthetic binders have become increasingly popular in the 20th century, many contemporary artists still prefer the more traditional media: drying oils. Although the wish of recalling traditional methods, much practical knowledge in paint preparation by mixing drying oil and pigments and in the behaviour of the mixture has been lost. This is mainly due to the different composition of contemporary materials in comparison with the traditional ones and may sometimes lead to different drying properties of the oil paint formulations and consequent problems in the art creation and conservation. For answer to this artistic need and in particular to the difficulties outlined by artists themselves in producing and employing oil paints, unpigmented and pigmented oil films were studied after a week, 1 and 2 years of natural drying under laboratory conditions. Thermal analyses were performed in air flow: the focus of this research was, in fact, to study the thermal and oxidative behaviours of young films for better understanding the very first processes leading to the formation of the film.


TG–DSC Drying oil Contemporary oil paints Linseed oil Stand oil Cobalt blue 


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Copyright information

© Akadémiai Kiadó, Budapest, Hungary 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Francesca Caterina Izzo
    • 1
  • Elisabetta Zendri
    • 1
  • Guido Biscontin
    • 1
  • Eleonora Balliana
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Environmental Sciences, Informatics and StatisticsCa’ Foscari University of VeniceVenezia-MestreItaly

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