Public Release: 

The weird chemistry threatening masterpiece paintings (video)

American Chemical Society

WASHINGTON, April 20, 2017 -- A good art dealer can really clean up in today's market, but not when some weird chemistry wreaks havoc on masterpieces. Art conservators started to notice microscopic pockmarks forming on the surfaces of treasured oil paintings that cause the images to look hazy. It turns out the marks are eruptions of paint caused, weirdly, by soap that forms via chemical reactions. Since you have no time to watch paint dry, we explain how paintings from Rembrandts to O'Keefes are threatened by their own compositions -- and we don't mean the imagery. Watch the latest Speaking of Chemistry video here: https://youtu.be/w2ww5aUJD8s.

Speaking of Chemistry is a production of Chemical & Engineering News, a weekly newsmagazine of the American Chemical Society. It's the series that keeps you up to date with the important and fascinating chemistry shaping the world around you. Subscribe to the series at http://bit.ly/ACSReactions, and follow us on Twitter @CENMag.

Subscribe to the series at http://bit.ly/ACSReactions, and follow us on Twitter @ACSreactions to be the first to see our latest videos.

###

The American Chemical Society is a nonprofit organization chartered by the U.S. Congress. With nearly 157,000 members, ACS is the world's largest scientific society and a global leader in providing access to chemistry-related research through its multiple databases, peer-reviewed journals and scientific conferences. ACS does not conduct research, but publishes and publicizes peer-reviewed scientific studies. Its main offices are in Washington, D.C., and Columbus, Ohio.

To automatically receive press releases from the American Chemical Society, contact newsroom@acs.org.

Follow us: Twitter Facebook

Disclaimer: AAAS and EurekAlert! are not responsible for the accuracy of news releases posted to EurekAlert! by contributing institutions or for the use of any information through the EurekAlert system.