English: blue frit, copper frit, Alexandrian blue, Pompeian blue, Pozzuoli blue, Vestorian blue French: bleu fritte, bleu d'Alexandrie, bleu de Pompeí, bleu de Pouzzoles German: Frittenblau Greek: kyanos Italian: azzuro egiziano Latin: caeruleum
Origin and History The invention of the process of manufacturing Egyptian blue during the first dynasties of ancient Egypt, beginning about 3100 B.C.E., was a consequence of other technical developments. It has been suggested that a blue frit was developed for use as a glaze and later as a powdered pigment.
Source The pigment Egyptian blue was always a manufactured product. The pigment is made by combining quartz, chalk (calcium carbonate), malachite (copper carbonate) and soda ash (sodium carbonate) and heated from 900° to 1000° C.
Permanence and Compatibility Egyptian blue is completely stable in all vehicles. It is completely light fast. Egyptian blue was mixed with different pigments and used with lime on frescoes.
Oil Absorption and Grinding Egyptian blue absorbs a small amount of oil (22 g oil per 100 g of pigment).
Toxicity Egyptian blue contains cooper, which is rated as toxic from prolonged exposure if inhaled or ingested. Care should be used in handling the dry powder pigment to avoid inhaling the dust.
Pigment: Egyptian Blue
Pigment Blue 31 (77437)
Copper Calcium Silicate
ASTM Lightfastness Rating
22 g oil/100 g pigment
Natural Pigments is a limited liability company based in Willits, California. We manufacture and distribute rare and hard-to-find materials for fine artists and decorators. We specialize in supplying artists' materials that were used in historical painting since pre-historic times up to and including the nineteenth century.
We constantly search for materials and products of the finest quality so that we can bring them direct to you from the source. To do so, we travel the world to find materials specifically for use by professional artists and decorators. We obtain minerals from mines in Afghanistan, Chile, Russia, Ukraine and Uzbekistan, to name a few places, processing these into natural pigments. We purchase resins, gums and plants from India, Kenya and Malaysia to make natural varnishes and painting mediums.
Our mission is to provide the largest variety of natural pigments, paints and other professional artists' supplies, enabling us to bring you a selection that makes shopping for rare and hard-to-find art materials easy. Our objective is to promote the education and use of these materials among artists by providing detailed information for their employment in encaustic, fresco, oil, watercolor and tempera painting.
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