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Cinnabar, Warm: Natural Mineral Pigments

Inorganic Colors from Europe and Asia

Natural Mineral Pigments


Cinnabar or Mercuric Sulfide
(Natural Vermilion)

Cinnabar, Warm

Natural Vermilion Our warm cinnabar is prepared from ore deposits near Nikitovka in the Doneckaia region of Ukraine. It exhibits a beautiful masstone color of strong red with a tendency toward reddish orange.

Item No.

Pigment

Price

Qty

Buy

450:100010

Cinnabar, Warm [10 g jar] (.35 oz.)

$24.60

450:100050

Cinnabar, Warm [50 g jar] (1.8 oz.)

$108.00


Pigment Information:
Cinnabar, Warm

Current Names: German: Zinnober; French: cinabre; Spanish: cinabrio; Italian: cinabro. Vermilion is the standard name in English given to the red artists' pigment based on artificially made mercuric sulfide, while cinnabar is the name given to the natural mineral. Obsolete Names: English: Chinese red Color: Red Colour Index: Pigment Red 106 (77766) ASTM Lightfastness: Oil: I Acrylic: Not tested Watercolor: Not tested Density: 8 Hardness: 2-2.5 Chemical Formula: HgS

Cinnabar, a dense red mineral, is the principal ore of the metal mercury, usually described as an intense reddish orange or sometimes as a dark reddish purple (See Cinnabar, Cold). Cinnabar varies in masstone color from strong red to vivid reddish orange in Munsell range from 5R to 7.5R. Our warm cinnabar is prepared from the mineral in ore deposits found near Nikitovka in the Doneckaia region of Ukraine. It exhibits a beautiful masstone color of strong red with a tendency toward reddish orange.
History of Use: It is an historical pigment but surprisingly not found in ancient Egyptian or early Mesopotamian objects. It was well known to the Romans and widely used in China since the third millennium B.C.
Permanence and Compatibility: Some authorities today do not consider cinnabar to be a permanent pigment. However, samples have been known to withstand exposure to direct sunlight for at least ten years. It is remarkably unreactive with other pigments despite that fact it is a sulfide. In oil-medium, it was commonly used with lead white to produce flesh tints with no sign of formation of black lead sulfide. It was used on alkaline lime fresco walls. The traditional use of red glazes of madder, kermes and cochineal lakes over cinnabar underpaint not only increases the purity (chroma) of the color, but has been shown to reduce its tendency to darken. The natural mineral is said to be more stable than manufactured vermilion.
Oil Absorption and Grinding: Cinnabar absorbs a low amount of linseed oil when grinding the pigment in this medium. Linseed oil is very slow drying with cinnabar, yet it produces a strong paint film. Although considered by some to be an erratic pigment, cadmium reds do not replace its special hue or physical characteristics.
Toxicity: Some authorities consider natural cinnabar to be non-toxic. Anita Albus writes that the deadly poison of mercury becomes harmless when it is stably bound with sulfur. However, we consider cinnabar to be toxic and urge caution in handling the dry powder pigment, as well as the pigment dispersed in medium.

Read cautions about handling pigments

 


Cinnabar, Cold

Natural Vermilion Our cold cinnabar is prepared from ore deposits in Haydarkan, Kyrgyzstan. It has a masstone color of soft purplish red.

Item No.

Pigment

Price

Qty

Buy

450:110010

Cinnabar, Cold [10 g jar] (.35 oz.)

$24.60

450:110050

Cinnabar, Cold [50 g jar] (1.8 oz.)

$108.00


Pigment Information:
Cinnabar, Cold

Current Names: German: Zinnober; French: cinabre; Spanish: cinabrio; Italian: cinabro. Vermilion is the standard name in English given to the red artists' pigment based on artificially made mercuric sulfide, while cinnabar is the name given to the natural mineral.
Obsolete Names: English: Chinese red
Color: Red
Colour Index: Pigment Red 106 (77766)
ASTM Lightfastness: Oil: I Acrylic: Not tested Watercolor: Not tested
Density: 8
Hardness: 2-2.5
Chemical Formula: HgS

Cinnabar, a dense red mineral, is the principal ore of the metal mercury, usually described as an intense reddish orange (See Cinnabar, Warm) or sometimes as a dark reddish purple. Our cold cinnabar is prepared from the mineral in ore deposits in Haydarkan, Kyrgyzstan. It has a masstone color of soft purplish red.
History of Use: It is an historical pigment, but surprisingly not found in ancient Egyptian or early Mesopotamian objects. It was well known to the Romans and widely used in China since the third millennium B.C.
Permanence and Compatibility: Authorities today do not consider cinnabar to be a permanent pigment. However, samples have been known to withstand exposure to sunlight for at least ten years. It is remarkably unreactive with other pigments despite that fact it is a sulfide. In oil-medium, it was commonly used with lead white to produce flesh tints with no sign of formation of black lead sulfide. It was used on alkaline lime fresco walls. The traditional use of red glazes of madder, kermes and cochineal lakes over cinnabar underpaint not only increases the purity (chroma) of the color, but has been shown to reduce its tendency to darken. The natural mineral is said to be more stable than manufactured vermilion.
Oil Absorption and Grinding: Cinnabar absorbs a low amount of linseed oil when grinding the pigment in this medium. Linseed oil is very slow drying with cinnabar, yet it produces a strong paint film. Although considered by some to be an erratic pigment, cadmium reds do not replace its special hue or physical characteristics.
Toxicity: Some authorities consider natural cinnabar to be non-toxic. Anita Albus writes that the deadly poison of mercury becomes harmless when it is stably bound with sulfur. However, we consider cinnabar to be toxic and urge caution in handling the dry powder pigment, as well as the pigment dispersed in medium.

Read cautions about handling pigments

 

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