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Copy of The Symbiotic Relationship of Art and Chemistry
Transcript of Copy of The Symbiotic Relationship of Art and Chemistry
The Chemistry Behind All Aspects of Art
Chemistry is the basis of all materials and process in art, as it is with everything in existence.
Chemically Dating and Preserving Art
The three most important dating techniques which are useful for the analysis of works of art are: Thermoluminescence (TL), Dendrochronology (DC), and Carbon 14 (C-14)
Hand-drawn diagrams display molecular structures that are essential to understanding chemical properties
Computer graphics and 3D art are used to create more realistic models of molecules
Art in Chemistry
Modern Public Perception of Chemistry
The European Chemical Industry Council (CEFIC) studied how eight-year-olds viewed chemists in the modern age.
“…Boring, eccentric, and socially awkward.”
"Dangerous and isolated."
In fact, when the general European populace was questioned, only
of the public saw chemistry in a positive light!
The Typical Chemical Portrait
Chemists are often depicted as holding up a beaker by the neck while staring at it.
Why is it used?
The Medieval Connection
This gesture, in ancient times, represented the ancient practice of
The examination of a patient’s urine to determine their health.
Shift in Public Opinion
The College of Physicians in London deemed uroscopy to be "
ridiculous and stupid.
Uroscopy physicians soon began to be portrayed as “
”, and their customers as “
Uroscopy-----> quackery, fraud, and idiocy.
The Mockery of Medicine
The Transference to Alchemy
Several 17th century Dutch and Flemish painters used medical quackery as a strong motif in their works.
Due to the work of
, the works of alchemy and medicine began to become visually molded.
The Resistance to Mockery
Nineteenth century chemists wanted to be freed from the uroscopy motif.
World War II and the Twentieth Century
The Fall of Chemistry in the Public Eye
Chemical Warfare, And Its Impact
--Severely dropped the public opinion of chemistry.
The most inaccurate form of dating that gives a ball park figure
Used for dating pottery primarily
Based on the fact that most minerals are thermoluminescent
Energy absorbed from ionizing radiation allows electrons to escape through crystal lattice, although some electrons get stuck in the lattice’s imperfections
Heating to at least 350 degrees Celsius then releases the trapped electrons producing light
The intensity of the light gives an idea of how long ago the object was las heated
Older objects build up thermoluminescence and thus give off more intense light
Dating wood based on the analysis of tree-ring patterns
Used with panel paintings
One of the most accurate forms of dating, sometimes to within a year, however only works for wood a few thousand or sometimes even a few hundred years old
Wide rings during wet years and narrow rings during dry years create a pattern of annual rings
By comparing sections of rings in the sample to other known tree ring patterns in similar environments, matching samples allow for quite accurate dating
Carbon 14 Dating (C-14)
Allows for dating up to about 50,000 years old
Used with any canvases that are made out of organic materials
Carbon 14 is an isotope of the commonly known Carbon 12, and its extra mass makes it radioactively unstable
Examining the extent of carbon decay allows approximate dating within up to 50 years
Accelerator Mass Spectrometry (allows for the use of a much smaller sample and more reliable procedure)
Preservation of Art Made Possible Via Basic Chemistry Knowledge
Relative humidity is the measure of the amount of water in the air relative to the amount the air is capable of holding expressed as a percentage
Changes in relative humidity and temperature cause swelling and contraction in paintings
When the air becomes moister or the relative humidity increases the painting will swell as it absorbs water and attempts to reach equilibrium with the humidity and temperature of the air
When the air becomes less moist or the relative humidity decreases the painting will contract as it loses water and attempts to balance moisture levels with the air
Uncontrolled swelling and contraction is due to diffusion, a simple chemistry concept, which can lead to loss of aesthetic appeal in a work of art
High humidity can also lead to the growth of fungi and bacteria on paintings, contributing to canvas and pigment deterioration
By understanding chemistry, museums and other fine art galleries are able to preserve art by controlling humidity and temperature and allow for full appreciation by the public
The unique and unknown relationship of Art and Chemistry
Paint, ink, or any other pigment based materials are formed from chemical combinations
different colors can be achieved through organic and inorganic substances
other elements were added as dispersal and drying agents
Paint, color pencils and other drawing materials are similar
copper, aluminum and other metals utilized for their reflective quality
Many chemical reactions create visually appealing effects and are the basis for the art of photography
Chemistry in Art
changing color paints
Other processes include:
Artists are now focusing their art on the subject of chemistry itself
Cheryl Safren once commented, "Chemistry is sometimes the subject of my work, often its inspiration and always the method or mean of its creation."