Rembrandt van Rijn, 1663
During the study and treatment (2005-06) of this painting in the Mauritshuis (together with Rembrandt's Simeon's Song of Praise) whitish insoluble surface deposits were encountered on the dark/translucent passages. These deposits were found to contain complex salts of lead, potassium and calcium. Their formation was found to be the result of metal soap formation and subsequent migration processes [Van Loon 2008].
This has raised many questions concerning the effects of past cleaning, lining and storage and display conditions on the formation and mobility of metal soaps.
Collaboration with the S4A project ‘Re-visualising late Rembrandt: developing and applying new imaging techniques’ is anticipated.