The red earth comprising Rublev Colours Transparent Mummy Artist Oil is Armenian Mummy Red Light pigment from quarries in the Lori province of northern Armenia. Transparent Mummy derives its name from the Russian word мумию that denotes a pigment of brownish red color similar to the nineteenth-century pigment derived from ground mummies.
Mummy brown was originally made in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries from the pitch, myrrh and the ground-up remains of Egyptian mummies. As it had good transparency in oil paint and was used for glazes, shadows, flesh tones and shading. It fell from popularity during the nineteenth century when its composition became more generally known to artists.
The modern pigment sold as “mummy” or “mummy brown” is composed of a mixture of hematite, goethite, clay and quartz; the hematite and goethite (generally from 20 to 60% of the content) determining its color—the more hematite the redder the pigment—with the others being inert substances that can vary the opacity or tinting strength.
Red iron oxide or ferric oxide is the principle coloring agent in red earths, such as Armenian Mummy Red Light. This pigment has an unusually low content of the natural mineral hematite (less than 12%) associated with larger amounts of clay and silica. The low iron oxide content makes it wonderfully transparent. It also differs from yellow iron oxides in that it does not contain water bound with iron oxide. In other words, the iron to which it owes its color is iron oxide not iron oxide hydroxide.
Some separation of pigment and oil may occur in Rublev Colours Artist Oils and is a natural process when no wax or stabilizers are added to paint to prevent this from occurring.
All images of color swatches in this web site are only approximations of the actual color of the oil paint. We have taken every care to match the color in these pictures on calibrated color monitors to the actual color. However, because of the wide variance in color monitors the results you get may vary.
Color Swatch Note: The color swatch was created with a thick application (left side) of color and a tint (right side) made with equal parts of color and titanium white and applied on acrylic primed cotton canvas.
Drawdown Note: The image of the "drawdown" contains a pre-mixed paint film of 6 mil (0.006 inch) thickness applied to a standard test card for the purposes of examining color consistency, opacity, and other qualities. The drawdowns show the color full strength (mass tone), on the left, and mixed in a 1:2 ratio with titanium white on the right. The bottom area of the drawdowns is scraped to show undertones.