Lime white

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A fine, white pigment composed of calcium hydroxide, and calcium carbonate. Lime white is produced by the long-term slaking of lime in water or air to form a thick, white, alkaline paste. It was used for fresco painting because it hardens to form a cohesive film without the aid of a binder. Lime white reacts with proteins, such as egg white, or casein, to produce a tough, insoluble film.

Synonyms and Related Terms

St. John's white; bianco sangiovanni (It.)

Additional Information

° R. Gettens, E. West Fitzhugh, R.Feller, "Calcium Carbonate Whites", Artists Pigments, Vol. 2., A. Roy ed. Oxford University Press, Oxford, 1993.


  • R. J. Gettens, G.L. Stout, Painting Materials, A Short Encyclopaedia, Dover Publications, New York, 1966
  • Artists' Pigments: A Handbook of their History and Characteristics, Ashok Roy (ed.), National Gallery of Art, Washington DC, Vol. 2, 1993 Comment: page 206

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