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Table 1 Summary of the analysis (see “Instrumentation”) of samples from Whaam! (Tate T00897), derived from several analytical campaigns

From: Reviving WHAAM! a comparative evaluation of cleaning systems for the conservation treatment of Roy Lichtenstein’s iconic painting

Paint colourSEM/EDXaFTIR (transmission)Polymeric components (GCMS)Polymeric components (PyGCMS)Inferred composition
Binding mediaPigmentOtherb
White (priming)Ti, Ca, S, Si, NaProteinaceous material Oil-modified alkyd resinTitanium dioxide (TiO2)Calcium sulphate tetrahydrate (CaSO4·4H2O)Phthalic anhydrideAnimal glue sizing, and on top an oil-modified alkyd resin medium mixed with titanium white (PW6), gypsum and silica as extenders
Blue paint (Ben-Day dots)Na, Al, Si, S, Ca, Mg, K, TiOilUltramarine blue (Na8Al6Si6O24–Sx)
Titanium dioxide (TiO2)
Calcium carbonate (CaCO3)Oil medium with synthetic ultramarine blue (PB29)
Titanium white (PW6), gypsum and silica are likely to originate from the preparation layer
Red paint (Ben-Day dots)OilBarium sulphate (BaSO4)
Possible metal soaps
Oil medium with probable cadmium red pigment (associated with barium sulphate)
Yellow paint (except speech bubble area)Cr, Pb, ZnnBMAcLead chromateWax
Zinc stearate
Wax
Traces of oil fatty acids and diacids
nBMAcAcrylic solution medium (Magna), with traces of oil, mixed with lead chromate yellow PbCrO4 (PY34)
Zn stearate may be an additive or formed from CdZnS (cadmium zinc sulphide lemon yellow) pigment present at minor levels (PY35)
Red paintCd, S, SenBMAWaxWax
Traces of oil fatty acids and diacids
nBMAAcrylic solution medium (Magna), with traces of oil, mixed with cadmium red Cd (S, Se) (PR108)
Black paintFe, SnBMAWaxWax
Traces of oil fatty acids and diacids
nBMAAcrylic solution medium (Magna), with traces of oil, mixed with Mars (iron oxide) black (PBk11)
Yellow paint (speech bubble upper layer)Cd, Zn, SOil oxidisedMagnesium sulphate heptahydrate oxalate saltsWax
Traces of oil fatty acids and diacids
Water sensitive oil paint with probable cadmium zinc sulphide (lemon) yellow (PY35) and a source of magnesium as extender
Yellow paint (speech bubble underlayer)Cr, Pb, ZnnBMALead chromateWax
Zinc stearate
Wax
Traces of oil fatty acids and diacids
Acrylic solution medium (Magna), with traces of oil, mixed with lead chromate yellow PbCrO4 (PY34)
Not water sensitive. Zn stearate may be an additive or formed from CdZnS (cadmium zinc sulphide lemon yellow) pigment present at minor levels (PY35)
  1. Analytical campaigns were carried out in 1997, 2014 and 2016–2018. Full evidential data is not presented and will form part of a forthcoming publication
  2. aElemental composition [major element(s)] only
  3. bAdditives, extenders, degradation products
  4. cnBMA, n-butyl methacrylate