Scientists say moisture in the air is triggering the gradual disappearance of the painting “The Scream” by Norwegian artist Edvard Munch.
via Daily Mail:
An international team used the world’s biggest X-ray to analyse paint micro-flakes from The Scream, which is kept in the Munch Museum in Oslo, Norway.
Cadmium sulphide, used as a pigment in the original paint, becomes oxidised and fades under high humidity conditions, they found.
It was thought light was to blame for colours of the painting gradually fading, which is why it has been mostly kept in near darkness – but humidity is its major threat.
Low humidity conditions will be key to allowing the painting to be exhibited at the Munch Museum, which is due to reopen this year after a major upgrade.
‘The synchrotron micro-analyses allowed us to pinpoint the main reason that made the painting decline, which is moisture,’ said co-author of the study Letizia Monico from the Italian National Research Council in Rome.
‘We also found that the impact of light in the paint is minor. I am very pleased that our study could contribute to preserve this famous masterpiece.’