Of oil painting at bamyan in afghanistan predating european oil


10-Jan-2017 10:58

“It helps you do that if you know what is there,” she explains: knowing if oil or egg was the predominant binder would help in choosing the most appropriate cleaning procedures, for example.Oldest Oil Paintings | Bamiyan, Afghanistan (National Research Institute for Cultural Properties, Tokyo) An international team of conservators and archaeologists found the world's oldest-known oil paintings in a maze of caves in Afghanistan's Bamiyan Valley, where the Taliban blew up two gigantic stone Buddha statues in 2001.The Bamiyan caves sit behind the gigantic statues of Buddha that were destroyed by the Taliban in 2001.The paintings, showing robed Buddhas and mythical creatures, were also defaced but not obliterated.But Marine Cotte of the Centre of Research and Restoration of the French Museums in Paris, a co-author of the study, is convinced of the conclusions.She says that oils have an unambiguous spectroscopic signature, and that their molecular components have been confirmed by the technique of chromatography.Taniguchi’s collaborators used X-ray beams produced by the European Synchrotron Radiation Facility in Grenoble, France, to determine the composition and crystal structures of pigment particles in the colours.

of oil painting at bamyan in afghanistan predating european oil-15

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He says that other techniques that really pin down the identity of the organic molecules should be applied before jumping to conclusions.

She adds that the oils are found under other layers of paint, which helps rule out the idea of contamination.

It’s not clear who these artists were, the researchers say.

Meanwhile, spectroscopic methods, which identify molecular structures from the way their vibrations cause light absorption, were used to identify the organic components of the paint layers. The researchers found pigments familiar from the ancient world, such as vermilion (red mercury sulphide) and lead white (lead carbonate).

of oil painting at bamyan in afghanistan predating european oil-20

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These were mixed with a range of binders, including natural resins, gums and possibly animal-skin glue or egg — and oils. All pigments need something liquid to bind them together, and primitive painters used a range of organic substances, from egg to animal fat or glue from boiled animal hide, to do that.

In the ancient Mediterranean world, drying oils were used in medicines, cosmetics, and perfumes.



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