Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Podcast: Picasso's Mysterious Paint

On today's podcast I talk with Francesca Casadio, a scientist at the Art Institute of Chiago, and Volker Rose, a physicist at the Advanced Photon Source at Argonne National Laboratory. Together, this duo just answered a long-standing question about the type of paint Picasso used in some of his pieces (including The Red Armchair, seen here). The paint in question was the first commercial house paint, and a symbol of Picasso's rebellion against the old world art establishment. It's a story of mystery and passion, like a Nancy Drew book, but with science! (And no murders or trap doors.)

While art historians obviously benefitted from this research, Rose says the study provided valuable information for him as well. The key ingredient in both house paint and artists paint at that time, was zinc oxide: a material that has properties similar to silicon, making it a candidate for use in various electronic devices

To hear more, check out this week's podcast

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