WARNING! CONTAINS ARSENIC. Please read the for cautionary statements.
Orpiment is yellow arsenic sulfide, usually described as a lemon or canary yellow or sometimes as a golden or brownish yellow. It is designated as brilliant yellow in Munsell notation 4.4Y 8.7/8.9. Our orpiment is made from natural mineral sources near Kadamdzhay in Kyrgyzstan and is an intensely bright pigment of crystalline particles.
|Mineral Names:||Chinese: ci huang or shi huang (pinyin), tz'u huang or shih huang |
German: Rauschgelb, Operment
Japanese: shiō, kiō, sekiō
|Artificial Pigment Names:||English: king's yellow |
French: juane royal, orpin artificiel
Russian: желтый мышьяк
|Synonyms:||English: arrhenicum, arsenic trisulfide, arsenikon, auripigment, auripigmento, auripigmentum, jalde, operment, oropiment, yellow arsenic|
French: arsenic jaune, arsenic sulfuré jaune
German: Arsenblende, Arsenikon, Auripigment, Gelbe Arsenblende
Greek: studied the mechanisms of deterioration in orpiment. Several medieval painting guides do not recommend mixing orpiment with lead white, red lead or verdigris. However, it must also be noted that it has been identified in paintings mixed with indigo, red iron oxide, azurite, Prussian blue, green bice (artificial malachite), and bice (smalt). It cannot be applied to wet plaster, and hence is not recommended in wet fresco painting techniques.
Oil Absorption and Grinding
No data has been published on the oil absorption properties of orpiment. It is difficult to grind because of its micaceous structure. For this reason, it is often quite coarse. It has been suggested to add ground glass to the pigment to facilitate grinding and dispersion in linseed oil.
The toxicity of arsenic sulfide pigments has been known for years. Extreme caution must be used when handling the dry orpiment pigment, as well as in any soluble form, to avoid inhaling the dust or ingesting it.