Interpretive Resource

Related Story: HEAR Ripolin and <em>The Red Armchair</em>

Related Story: HEAR Ripolin and The Red Armchair

Picasso’s experimentation extended to the use of unconventional materials. He started using Ripolin—a popular brand of French house paint—in his work nearly 20 years before the creation of The Red Armchair, but Art Institute conservators only recently confirmed that he used it on that painting. They collaborated with scientists at Argonne Laboratory using a machine called an x-ray nanoprobe to examine microscopic particles of paint. Their analysis showed that qualities of the paint matched that of Ripolin, which they confirmed by comparing it to other 100-year-old samples of Ripolin. Listen as Art Institute painting conservators discuss the effects of Picasso’s use of Ripolin.


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