Versão em português
N.º 2
pp. 3-12


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Oils, paintings and chemistry

Maria Eduarda Machado de Araújo

Departamento de Química e Bioquímica, Faculdade de Ciências da Universidade de Lisboa, 1749-016 Lisboa, Portugal


In oil paintings artists use oils to apply pigments. These oils firstly are liquid and then solidify in a thin film. Many chemical reactions are involved in drying and also in the aging of these oils. Drying is a continuous process that begins with the oxidation of insaturated fatty acids from triglycerides to originate peroxides. These compounds suffer a cascade of reactions that lead to cross linking bonds between fatty acids residues, transforming the oil in a solid film. Identification of the film oil is possible using the palmitic/stearic ratio (P/S) by chromatographic (GC) and/or spectroscopic techniques. Sterol composition, phytosterols or cholesterol, determined by GC-MS or FTIR techniques, allows investigators to distinguish between oil painting and a temper one that used egg as the binding medium.





Original title

Óleos, pintura e química





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Conservar Património:
Araújo, M. E. M., 'Óleos, pintura e química', Conservar Património 2 (2005) 3-12,

Araújo, M. E. M. (2005). Óleos, pintura e química. Conservar Património, 2 3-12. DOI:10.14568/cp2_1.

Araújo, Maria Eduarda Machado de. 2005. "Óleos, pintura e química." Conservar Património 2:3-12. doi:10.14568/cp2_1.

ARAÚJO, Maria Eduarda Machado de – Óleos, pintura e química. Conservar Património. [Em linha]. 2 (2005) 3-12 [Consult. ]. Disponível em WWW: <URL:>. ISSN 21829942.

ARAÚJO, Maria Eduarda Machado de. Óleos, pintura e química. Conservar Património, Lisboa, v. 2, p. 3-12, 2005. Disponível em: <>. Acesso em: .


Online: 2017-10-3
Publication: 2006-1-23


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