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The application of ancient lead pigments as well as their colour change

Wang Jinyu;Dunhuang Research Academy;  
Lead white(2 PbC0_3·Pb(OH)_3)Red lead(Pb_3 O_4) and litharge(PbO)are there kinds of chemical comound evented by ancient Chinese.They are used as painting colours on painted works of art through the ages.Being exposed in natural environment for a long time.All of them will be getting black.It is known that the browned colours on the surface of murals and on modelling of past dynasties are all materials of PbO_2 by doing X-ray diffraction and X-ray spectrum meter to the grottoes dated in Northern Liang,Northern Wei,Western Wei,Northern Zhou,Sui,Tang,Five Dynasties,Song,West Xi xia and Yuan,in Mogao Grottoes.After going further into the principles of chemical reaction of colours of lead and doing simulated experiment of colour changes of lead, etc it is thought preliminarily that ultraviolet ray,gas of H_2 S and relative humidity are three main factors influencing colour changes of lead,especially ultraviolet-ray.If the RH is.above 60%,it will evoke colour changes and make the surface of colours powdery especially in 80% above RH; colour changes of surface of Pb_3 O_4 will be most serious when its RH is 80%.There is not colours from PbS,so it is conclused that influence of H_2 S to Mogao Grottoes is quite weak.
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