Cadmium red

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Cadmium red


cadmium red at 100x; normal and UV light

A permanent, deep red pigment composed of cadmium sulfoselenide. Pure cadmium sulfoselenide was patented in Germany in 1892 and first sold as a pigment (C.P.) in artist paints in 1907. Variations in the proportions of the cadmium and selenide produce as range of colors from orange to dark maroon. In 1926, cadmium reds were co-precipitated with Barium sulfate to form less expensive cadmium lithopone pigments.

See also Cadmium sulfide.

Cadmium red

Synonyms and Related Terms

cadmium sulfide; cadmium sulfoselenide; Pigment Red 108; CI 77196; rouge de cadmium (Fr.); Kadmiumrot (Deut.); rojo de cadmio (Esp.); kokkino toy kadmioy (Gr.); rosso cadmio (It.); cadmiumrood (Ned.); vermelho de cádmio (Port.)

Raman (MFA)

Cadmium (Forbes MFA 318) resize.tif








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  • Toxic by inhalation and ingestion.
  • Carcinogen.
  • May react with copper compounds and turn black.
  • Gamblin Colors: SDS

Physical and Chemical Properties

Tiny red particles less than 1 micrometer in diameter; deep red in transmitted light

Composition CdS, CdSe

Resources and Citations

  • I. Fiedler, M. Bayard, "Cadmium yellows, oranges and reds", Artists Pigments, Volume 1, R. Feller (ed.), Cambridge University Press: Cambridge, 1986.
  • R. J. Gettens, G.L. Stout, Painting Materials, A Short Encyclopaedia, Dover Publications, New York, 1966
  • M. Doerner, The Materials of the Artist, Harcourt, Brace & Co., 1934
  • G.S.Brady, Materials Handbook, McGraw-Hill Book Co., New York, 1971
  • Michael McCann, Artist Beware, Watson-Guptill Publications, New York City, 1979
  • Monona Rossol, The Artist's Complete Health and Safety Guide, Allworth Press, New York, 1994
  • Thomas B. Brill, Light Its Interaction with Art and Antiquities, Plenum Press, New York City, 1980
  • The Dictionary of Art, Grove's Dictionaries Inc., New York, 1996 Comment: 'Pigments'

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