Scientists find secret ingredient in da Vinci paintings

Published: Mar. 29, 2023 at 9:25 AM CDT
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(CNN) - Leonardo da Vinci’s paintings may have had a secret ingredient.

According to a new study, “old masters” like da Vinci, Sandro Botticelli and Rembrandt may have used egg yolk in their oil paintings.

Trace quantities of protein have been detected in the classic paintings.

While it was originally believed to have been from contamination, researchers now say it was intentional.

They say adding egg yolk could tune the properties of the oil paint in drastic ways, such as showing age and brush strokes differently.

It would also make the paint more resistant to humidity.

The study was published Tuesday in the journal Nature Communications.