Terra alba

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Description

A fine-grain, white pigment prepared from powdered gypsum. Terra alba was occasionally mixed with glue for gesso ground in mediaval and Renaissance panel paintings (Gettens and Stout1966).

Synonyms and Related Terms

gypsum

Other Properties

Soluble in water. Slightly soluble in glycerol and weak acids. Precipitates as needle-like crystals. Insoluble in most organic solvents.

Low birefringence.

Composition CaSO4-2H2O
Density 2.32
Refractive Index 1.523

Additional Information

R. J. Gettens and G.L. Stout, Painting Materials, A Short Encyclopaedia, Dover Publications, New York, 1966.

Sources Checked for Data in Record

  • R. J. Gettens, G.L. Stout, Painting Materials, A Short Encyclopaedia, Dover Publications, New York, 1966
  • R. Mayer, The Artist's Handbook of Materials and Techniques, Viking Press, New York, 1981
  • G.S.Brady, Materials Handbook, McGraw-Hill Book Co., New York, 1971 Comment: p. 385
  • Matt Roberts, Don Etherington, Bookbinding and the Conservation of Books: a Dictionary of Descriptive Terminology, U.S. Government Printing Office, Washington DC, 1982