Iron Oxide Red: Ukiyo-e colorant

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Kitchen Scene by Kitagawa Utamaro I

Iron oxide red 弁柄(bengara): A colorant derived from hematite, a metallic black-gray or dark red mineral primarily composed of iron oxide.

Iron oxide red has been the most commonly found brown whether used alone or in mixtures. When printed, it appears dense and opaque. Iron oxide red has been found on early hand-colored to fully printed images throughout the Edo period. The color can range from a bright light red to a deep almost maroon brown

For more information see: Hematite, Ferric oxide, Red ochre

Examples of Iron oxide red in Ukiyo-e Prints

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Beauties of the Yoshiwara by Suzuki Harunobu

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Beauties of the Yoshiwara by Suzuki Harunobu

Dyed indigo.jpg

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Beauties of the Yoshiwara by Suzuki Harunobu

Dyed indigo.jpg

Indigo FORS.JPG
Beauties of the Yoshiwara by Suzuki Harunobu

Dyed indigo.jpg

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Beauties of the Yoshiwara by Suzuki Harunobu

Analysis

X-ray fluorescence analysis (XRF) is used to detect iron. When it is found in a red/brown area, it is an indication for the presence of iron oxide red (Fe2O3).

Other Images of Iron oxide red

List of Prints

Below is a list of prints where iron oxide red was detected.