The Tate Gallery

Working with the conservation scientist Joyce Townsend, I was asked to formulate a 99.9% pure flake white paint which incorporated, as pigment, a lead carbonate we had made specifically for this purpose. Every aspect of its manufacture had to be considered, so as to replicate in every way the characteristics of paint in the late 18th and early 19th century. Our intention was thereby to produce a paint so pure and free from anachronistic additions that it could be used as a positive control sample with which to compare the minute detachments of paint removed from paintings during restoration.

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