Picasso used house paint in his artworks

Scientists have finally solved a long-standing mystery about the type of paint renowned Spanish artist Pablo Picasso used on his canvases, revealing it to be basic house paint.

The 20th-century artist also broke with convention when it came to paint, found a new research which used X-ray techniques to analyse some of his works.

Art scholars had long suspected that Picasso was one of the first artists to employ house paint, rather than traditional artists' paint, to achieve a glossy style that hid brush marks. There was no absolute confirmation of this, however, until now.

Physicists at Argonne National Laboratory in Lemont, trained their hard X-ray nanoprobe at Picasso's painting "The Red Armchair", completed in 1931, which they borrowed from the Art Institute of Chicago, LiveScience reported.

The study was published in the journal Applied Physics A: Materials Science & Processing. The analysis showed that Picasso used enamel paint that matches the precise chemical composition of the first brand of commercial house paint, called Ripolin. The researchers were able to compare the painting's pigment with those of paints available at the time by analysing decades-old paint samples bought on eBay.

"The nanoprobe allowed visualisation of information about chemical composition within a singe grain of paint pigment, significantly reducing doubt that Picasso used common house paint in some of his most famous works," one of the researchers , Argonne's Volker Rose, said.

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