Proteomic identification of beer brewing products in the ground layer of Danish Golden Age paintings

Fabiana Di Gianvincenzo, Cecil Krarup Andersen, Troels Folke Filtenborg, Meaghan Mackie, Madeleine Ernst, Jazmín Ramos Madrigal, Jesper V. Olsen, Jørgen Wadum, E. Cappellini

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The application of mass spectrometry–based proteomics to artworks provides accurate and detailed characterization of protein-based materials used in their production. This is highly valuable to plan conservation strategies and reconstruct the artwork’s history. In this work, the proteomic analysis of canvas paintings from the Danish Golden Age led to the confident identification of cereal and yeast proteins in the ground layer. This proteomic profile points to a (by-)product of beer brewing, in agreement with local artists’ manuals. The use of this unconventional binder can be connected to the workshops within the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts. The mass spectrometric dataset generated from proteomics was also processed with a metabolomics workflow. The spectral matches observed supported the proteomic conclusions, and, in at least one sample, suggested the use of drying oils. These results highlight the value of untargeted proteomics in heritage science, correlating unconventional artistic materials with local culture and practices.
TidsskriftScience Advances
Udgave nummer21
Antal sider13
StatusUdgivet - 24 maj 2023