The cadmium yellow pigments, which were favoured by the Impressionists, post-Impressionistes and Modernists, have oxidized following light exposure which has lessened the artwork's bright colors. It has also been discovered that geographic location has an impact on the rate the painting fades.

Matisse's The Joy of Life and Flowers in Blue Vase by Van Gogh both differ in color in comparison to their original appearance.

Jennifer Mass, associate professor of the University of Delaware, said in an interview with The Telegraph: "The results of this study reveal how critical it is to understand not only the chemistry of the discoloured paint."

"but also the chemistry used to prepare the paints that were available to the turn of the 20th century's most treasured artists."

Professor Koen Janssens of the University of Antwerp, Belgium said: "I find it striking that in paintings of different artists and different geographical origins that (presumably) were conserved for around 100 years in various museum conditions, very similar chemical transformations are taking place.''

Although unpreventable, museums can ensure colors do not fade quicker by monitoring their lighting and humidity.