207Pb and 119Sn Solid-State NMR and Relativistic Density Functional Theory Studies of the Historic Pigment Lead-Tin Yellow Type I and Its Reactivity in Oil Paintings

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Lead soaps (lead carboxylates) have been detected in traditional oil paintings in layers containing the pigment lead-tin yellow type I (LTY-I). LTY-I has been used by artists from at least the second quarter of the 15th century until the first half of the 18th century. Soap formation can lead to protrusions in paint layers and increased transparency, causing the paint support to become visible. We have characterized LTY-I by 119Sn and 207Pb solid-state NMR (ssNMR) spectroscopy. Using a combination of NMR techniques and DFT molecular cluster calculations, we identify the individual species in LTY-I and determine their 119Sn and 207Pb chemical-shift tensors. The presence of starting materials from the synthesis, minium, and tin(IV) oxide was also verified. Knowledge of the chemical-shift tensor components and the impurities in LTY-I is important for examining the chemistry of degradation processes and soap formation. We demonstrate that ssNMR can be used to detect reaction between Pb2SnO4 and added palmitic acid in a model paint sample containing LTY-I.



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