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Eggs on a Plate without the Plate, Salvador Dali, 1932  Image source  

A versatile pigment for color mixing, and a beautiful pigment on its own, Naples Yellow and its production techniques have been rediscovered several times throughout history and across continents.

 

Considered one of the oldest synthetic colours, it was used in enameling in Babylon and Assyria, colored glass in Egypt from around 1550bc but has also been used as a glaze for ceramics and as a paint pigment. Given this diverse history, several recipes for its production exist. The general procedure involves the calcination (heating in the presence of oxygen without melting) of a mixture of lead (Pb) and antimony (Sb) to produce Pb2Sb2O7.

It became popular as a pigment during the Renaissance and continued in use with the Impressionists. Because of its toxicity, it fell out of favor and today has been reformulated to reduce toxicity. 

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April 2024 Pigment of the month.

 

Click here if you would like to access our past pigments of the month.

Chrysanthimums, Pierre August Renoir, 1884 Image source

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