Synthetically prepared black iron oxide pigment that was developed in the early 20th century. Mars black is a permanent pigment that has a warm brownish black color. It is a dense, heavy powder and unlike most naturally produced black iron oxide pigments, it is magnetic (the exception is ground magnetite). Mars black absorbs oil readily and unlike lampblack, it is a good drier. Mars black can also be used with watercolors and it does not effloresce when used in mortars and cements.
Synonyms and Related Terms
magnetic black iron oxide; Pigment Black 11; Marsschwarz (Deut.); noir de Mars (Fr.); nero di marte (It.); ijzeroxidezwart (synthetisch) (Ned.); negro de marte (Port.); Mapico black
No significant hazards.
Resources and Citations
- Reed Kay, The Painter's Guide To Studio Methods and Materials, Prentice-Hall, Inc., Englewood Cliffs, NJ, 1983
- Ralph Mayer, A Dictionary of Art Terms and Techniques, Harper and Row Publishers, New York, 1969 (also 1945 printing)
- Michael McCann, Artist Beware, Watson-Guptill Publications, New York City, 1979
- Art and Architecture Thesaurus Online, http://www.getty.edu/research/tools/vocabulary/aat/, J. Paul Getty Trust, Los Angeles, 2000