The Role of Chemistry in History

The Role of Chemistry in History header image 2


April 27th, 2008 · 3 Comments ·

Introduction  The History Tempera Paints vs. Oil Paints Drying Oils The Extraction of Linseed Oil Linolenic Acid So What? Oil Painting and History Bibliography


            Alpha-linolenic acid has received a large amount of attention in the scientific community in recent years for its role as an Omega-3 fatty acid, which is important because of the health benefits it provides.  Alpha-linolenic acid and its role as one of the primary components of linseed oil, however, has also played a much different role in history.  For hundreds of years, linseed oil has been used as the primary base for oil paints; the alpha-linolenic acid which is found in linseed oil is necessary in its use in painting.  This site will discuss the history of oil paints, the chemistry of alpha-linolenic acid as it relates to linseed oil and oil painting, and the consequences that the shift to oil paints had on broader historical movements.

Tags: Alpha-linolenic Acid (Linseed Oil)