Arty chemistry lessons

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Arty chemistry lessons


A Chemist in an Art Museum

“A Chemist in an Art Museum” (Random House) by Jun Chang-lim considers art through a chemist’s eyes.
The author, a professor of chemical system engineering at Hongik University, explains why Leonardo da Vinci’s “The Last Supper” has sustained more damaged than other paintings. Apparently Da Vinci used both oil and tempera paint when he worked on the famous creation. To make tempera paint, egg yolk was be mixed with tempera powder to enhance adhesion. More than 50 percent of egg yolk, however, is water, so it is very resistant to oils. “Although da Vinci was a genius in various fields, he might not have done so well in chemistry,” Jun writes.
The author was artistically talented from an early age. Although Jun studied chemistry at university, he didn’t lose his interest in art. Studying in Paris, he spent most of his time in art museums. “Some people criticized me for not concentrating on chemistry. However, I’ve never forgotten my duty as a scientist. I want to save masterpieces like the ‘The Last Supper’ by improving our understanding of paint,” Jun writes. By Lee Esther
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