Lead-tin yellow light (type I) is an artificial pigment made by heating lead and tin oxide together and frequently occurs in European painting before the 18th century.
Origin and History
Lead-tin yellow frequently occurs in European painting before the 18th century. The earliest recipes for a yellow pigment from lead and tin was found in the Bolognese manuscript from the first half of the fifteenth century. Old Italian manuscripts make reference to a pigment of pale yellow color called giallolino or giallorino while northern manuscripts use the term massicot (which now designates yellow lead oxide) to describe a pigment prepared from lead and tin.
There are, in fact, two types of lead-tin yellow, designated as types I and II. Type I is lead-tin oxide and is most frequently found on old paintings. Type II is a second variety of lead-tin oxide that may contain free tin oxide and additional silicon. Possibly both types were used as opacifiers in ancient glasses. Lead-tin yellow (type I) is prepared by heating in a crucible a mixture of lead dioxide and tin dioxide to a temperature of about 800° C. Warmer hues of yellow appear at lower temperatures and at about 700–800° C, the more lemon-colored hues develop.
Permanence and Compatibility
Lead-tin yellow is not affected by light and is stable under normal atmosphere. On paintings, lead-tin yellow (type I) has been found mixed with lead white, vermilion, yellow lakes, ochres, verdigris, indigo and azurite.
Oil Absorption and Grinding
Lead-tin yellow a small amount of oil (16 g oil per 100 g of pigment). It is a fast dryer in oil paint and forms an excellent film.
Lead-tin yellow contains lead and is poisonous. Utmost care should be used in handling the dry powder pigment to avoid inhaling the dust.
Pigment: Lead-Tin Yellow Light (Type I)