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Table 1 Micro-samples of ultramarine-containing paints in Girl with a Pearl Earring

From: Out of the blue: Vermeer’s use of ultramarine in Girl with a Pearl Earring

Sample number/type/locationAnalysesStratigraphy and pigments
23 Cross-section
Lower right edge of the blue headscarf
Sampled and analysed 1994 [6]:
    LM
    SEM–EDX
Photographed 2008
Analysed 2018:
    LM
    SEM–EDX
Blue paint layer: ultramarine, chalk, (possibly very tiny amount of) lead white, indigo (from background glaze [9])
Black underlayer: mainly charcoal black
23 Unmounted fragment
Lower right edge of the blue headscarf
Sampled 1994
Analysed 2018:
    UHPLC-PDA-FLR
Organic components: indigo, unidentified yellow components
41 Cross-section
Dark blue in shadow on right of headscarf
Sampled and analysed 2018:
    LM
    SEM–EDX
    µ-FTIR-ATR
    Synchrotron µ-XANES/µ-XRF
Thick blue paint layer (up to 70 µm): ultramarine, chalk, lead white, red lake, gypsum
Black underlayer (incomplete): mainly charcoal black
42 Cross-section
Bright blue in shadow on right of headscarf
Sampled and analysed 2018:
    LM
    SEM-EDX
    µ-FTIR-ATR
    Synchrotron µ-XANES/µ-XRF
Thin blue paint layer (c. 10 µm thick): ultramarine, chalk, lead white, red lake, gypsum
Thin black underlayer (c. 10 µm thick): charcoal black, chalk, gypsum, a few aluminium-containing particles, palmierite (degradation product)
Ground (up to 50 µm thick): chalk, lead white, earth pigments, fine carbon black
14a Dislodged unmounted fragment
Precise original location unknown: probably from the shadow of the Girl’s clothing
Sampled 1994
Analysed 2018:
    UHPLC-PDA-FLR (to compare organic components with those found in the headscarf)
Organic components: American cochineal