Metal Soaps in Art

Conservation and Research

  • Francesca Casadio
  • Katrien Keune
  • Petria Noble
  • Annelies Van Loon
  • Ella Hendriks
  • Silvia A. Centeno
  • Gillian Osmond

Part of the Cultural Heritage Science book series (CUHESC)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xxii
  2. Formation, Migration and Environmental Influences

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 23-23
    2. Joen J. Hermans, Katrien Keune, Annelies Van Loon, Piet D. Iedema
      Pages 47-67
    3. Jaclyn Catalano, Anna Murphy, Yao Yao, Nicholas Zumbulyadis, Silvia A. Centeno, Cecil Dybowski
      Pages 69-84
    4. Marine Cotte, Laurence De Viguerie, Emilie Checroun, Jean Susini, Philippe Walter
      Pages 85-106
    5. Katrien Keune, Rick P. Kramer, Suzanne Stangier, Margriet H. van Eikema Hommes
      Pages 107-121
    6. Sally Higgs, Aviva Burnstock
      Pages 123-140
    7. Tommaso Poli, Anna Piccirillo, Marco Nervo, Oscar Chiantore
      Pages 141-152
    8. Francesca Casadio, Ludovic Bellot-Gurlet, Céline Paris
      Pages 153-170
  3. Innovative Approaches to the Characterization of Metal Soaps and Oxalates

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 171-171
    2. Francesca Rosi, Laura Cartechini, Letizia Monico, Francesca Gabrieli, Manuela Vagnini, David Buti et al.
      Pages 173-193
    3. Nati Salvadó, Salvador Butí, Trinitat Pradell, Victòria Beltran, Gianfelice Cinque, Jordi Juanhuix
      Pages 195-210
    4. Mathieu Thoury, Annelies Van Loon, Katrien Keune, Joen J. Hermans, Matthieu Réfrégiers, Barbara H. Berrie
      Pages 211-225
    5. Francisco J. Martínez-Casado, José A. Rodríguez-Cheda, Miguel Ramos-Riesco, María Isabel Redondo-Yélamos, Fabio Cucinotta, Alejandro Fernández-Martínez
      Pages 227-239
  4. Characterization and Treatment

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 241-241
    2. Lizet Klaassen, Geert van der Snickt, Stijn Legrand, Catherine Higgitt, Marika Spring, Frederik Vanmeert et al.
      Pages 263-282
    3. Kate Helwig, Élisabeth Forest, Aimie Turcotte, Wendy Baker, Nancy E. Binnie, Elizabeth Moffatt et al.
      Pages 297-311
  5. Case Studies in Nineteenth and Twentieth Century Art: Artists and Paint Makers

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 313-313
    2. Klaas Jan van den Berg, Aviva Burnstock, Michael Schilling
      Pages 329-342
    3. Laura E. Raven, Madeleine Bisschoff, Margje Leeuwestein, Muriel Geldof, Joen J. Hermans, Maartje Stols-Witlox et al.
      Pages 343-358
    4. Annelies Van Loon, Ruth Hoppe, Katrien Keune, Joen J. Hermans, Hannie Diependaal, Madeleine Bisschoff et al.
      Pages 359-373
    5. Johanna Salvant, Marc Walton, Dale Kronkright, Chia-Kai Yeh, Fengqiang Li, Oliver Cossairt et al.
      Pages 375-391
    6. Corina E. Rogge, Zahira Velíz Bomford, Maite Leal
      Pages 413-424

About this book


This go-to reference work surveys the current state of knowledge in the field of metal soap-related degradation phenomena in art works. It contains detailed descriptions and images of the different phenomena and addresses the practical aspects of soap formation, preventive conservation, and treatment.

The occurrence of metal soaps is one of the defining issues in the conservation of painted surfaces, and one that presently leaves innumerable open questions. It is estimated that around 70% of paintings in museum collections are affected by some form of metal soap-related degradation. In recent years, significant advances have been made in the detection and characterization of these compounds through interdisciplinary approaches including conventional spectroscopy and microscopy as well as emerging synchrotron-based techniques. 

This book for the first time captures a panoramic overview of the state of knowledge of metal soaps related to both scientific analysis and implications for conservation and treatment. It also critically examines open questions. The book is accessible to audiences with varied backgrounds (e.g. conservators, students of conservation science) while simultaneously presenting the technical details indispensable for academics and researchers active in this field.


painted surfaces isomeric networks soap-related degradation Metal soaps and oxalates metal carboxylates inorganic salt crusts Synchrotron X-ray diffraction and imaging reflection mid-FTIR spectroscopy synchrotron deep-UV photoluminescence imaging vibrational spectroscopy

Editors and affiliations

  • Francesca Casadio
    • 1
  • Katrien Keune
    • 2
  • Petria Noble
    • 3
  • Annelies Van Loon
    • 4
  • Ella Hendriks
    • 5
  • Silvia A. Centeno
    • 6
  • Gillian Osmond
    • 7
  1. 1.The Art Institute of ChicagoChicagoUSA
  2. 2.Conservation Department, Rijksmuseum, Van’t Hoff Institute for Molecular SciencesUniversity of AmsterdamAmsterdamThe Netherlands
  3. 3.Conservation DepartmentRijksmuseumAmsterdamThe Netherlands
  4. 4.Conservation DepartmentRijksmuseumAmsterdamThe Netherlands
  5. 5.Programme Conservation and Restoration of Cultural HeritageUniversity of AmsterdamAmsterdamThe Netherlands
  6. 6.Department of Scientific ResearchThe Metropolitan Museum of Art New YorkUSA
  7. 7.Queensland Art Gallery/Gallery of Modern ArtBrisbaneAustralia

Bibliographic information

Industry Sectors
Chemical Manufacturing
Consumer Packaged Goods
Materials & Steel
Energy, Utilities & Environment
Oil, Gas & Geosciences