If you can stand a little chemistry geeky jargon (plumbonacrite anyone?), this is a pretty fascinating article about how chemists can sleuth out exactly how a painting’s colors have faded, in this case Vincent Van Gogh’s paintings. Once they figure out the process of breakdown, they can then work backward in time to predict what the painting looked like when first completed and forward to what it will look like in the future.

Ah, in Vincent’s own words, “Paintings fade like flowers.”

Read about the chemistry detectives here.