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Abstract

We report a GC-MS method for the simultaneous analysis of proteins oil, and diterpenoid resins found in cultural objects. The method was initially designed for protein analysis of protenaceous paints and adhesives and involves acid hydrolysis as the first step. The amino acids in the protein hydrolysates, thus obtained, are treated with propan-1-ol/ hydrogen chloride and then pentafluoropropionic anhydride. The procedure was found also to yield the propyl esters of fatty acids derived from lipids and diterpenoid acids derived from natural resins, and thus allows the choice of a single method for the analysis of artists media which contain either oil s or proteins or mixtures of both proteins and oils or even resins. Thus natural mixtures such as egg yolk and also mixtures made by the artist such as animal glue / seed oil emulsions can be analysed. Coupled with FTIR analysis of paints and the staining of cross sections, to indicate layer structure the method can help to elucidate the paints and adhesives used by artists.