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Specifically, Wikipedia states that Sir Joshua Reynolds' "The Age of Innocence" was painted by the artist over another one of his paintings because the latter was "had suffered some paint losses," and goes on to say that "Innocence itself has deteriorated since 1859." Why?

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    $\begingroup$ The materials used today could have a greater integrity than the ones used in 1859. Also other techniques may be used nowadays in order to preserve the work which my not have been practiced back then. $\endgroup$ – Technetium Nov 26 '15 at 3:19
  • $\begingroup$ @Joel: Thank you. That's not what I asked, though. Paintings before and after Reynolds' fare better. What did Reynolds use, or refrain from using, in his paints, that made his work fragile? $\endgroup$ – Ricky Nov 26 '15 at 4:19
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    $\begingroup$ I don't know, the paints may not have binded to the material properly or they've denatured somehow.. $\endgroup$ – Technetium Nov 26 '15 at 4:36
  • $\begingroup$ @Joel: Well, duh. Why do you think I posed the question? Exactly: in order to find out. I can make up theories myself. I'm looking for facts here. $\endgroup$ – Ricky Nov 26 '15 at 4:42
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    $\begingroup$ That's why I added a comment not an answer. I was only trying to help sorry I can't provide answer for you. $\endgroup$ – Technetium Nov 26 '15 at 5:12
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Some pictures where lead-based paint was used tend to deteriorate due to formation of black PbS. However, I have found that the cause of this is the artist's 'defective' technique, which caused flaking of paint. It's the matter of technique, not chemistry.

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  • $\begingroup$ So how exactly was his technique defective? What did he do wrong? $\endgroup$ – Ricky Nov 26 '15 at 20:22

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