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Secret Edible Ingredient Found in Leonardo da Vinci’s Paintings, Unveiled by Scientists

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Scientists have discovered that famous artists such as Leonardo da Vinci, Sandro Botticelli and others have experimented with mixing egg yolk with oil paint to help paintings resist moisture and prevent wrinkling and yellowing.

A study published by Nature Communications says that research into the painting habits of master artists “may improve the preservation of priceless works of art.”

And although protein residues have previously been found in masterpieces, the study showed that their inclusion in eggs was most likely intentional.

In a study, experts found that adding eggs to oil paintings “acts as an antioxidant, slowing down the start of processing.” In other words, this formula helps prevent deterioration in paint quality.

Study author Ophelie Ranke, from the Institute of Mechanical Engineering and Mechanics at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology in Germany, said: “There are very few written sources on this topic, and no scientific work has been done on this topic before on this scale.” Our results show that even with a very small amount of egg yolk, a surprising change in the properties of oil paint can be achieved, showing how useful it can be for artists.”

By studying the effects of using egg yolk proteins in oil, scientists found that egg whites prevent the paint from absorbing water in a humid environment.

The study found that adding eggs while drying paintings also helped prevent yellowing and wrinkling of the painting, “a problem that even Leonardo da Vinci faced.”

The study states that the artists “gave us the opportunity to admire their masterpieces that have survived to this day.”

Source: Science Alert

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