pigment of the month

Pigment of the Month: Sienna

Pigment of the Month: Sienna

We are continuing our Pigment of the Month series with another autumn-appropriate color, a rich brown called Sienna. This natural pigment is one that dates back millennia when it was used in some of the first known cave paintings. Sienna is made from clay composed of iron oxide and manganese oxide, two minerals that are common in soil. In fact, Sienna gets its name from the Italian ‘terra di Siena,’ meaning “earth of Siena.” Siena, a small city in the region of Italy known as Tuscany, also used to manufacture the pigment. Other names to which this pigment is referred are terra rossa (red earth) or terra gialla (yellow earth).

Pigment of the Month: Indian Yellow

Pigment of the Month: Indian Yellow

This month at The Conservation Center, we were inspired by the marvelous hues of autumn, as our hometown of Chicago is being swiftly engulfed by red, orange, and yellow leaves. So we decided to revive our Pigment of the Month segment. For the month of October, we chose a beautiful and historically fascinating yellow pigment- perfect for fall- with a very interesting story behind it.

Pigment of the Month: Emerald Green

Pigment of the Month: Emerald Green

This month we continue our “Pigment of the Month” series, detailing the origins, history, and eventual discontinuation of pigments once common on the artists’ palette. In this next installment, we explore the history of Emerald Green, and the chemical composition that made it both brilliant and lethal.

Pigment of the Month: Mummy Brown

Pigment of the Month: Mummy Brown

This month marks the beginning of The Conservation Center’s new “Pigment of the Month” series. Our report on Mummy Brown is the first of several articles that will detail the origins, history, and eventual discontinuation of pigments that are no longer in use.

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