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A light color red ocher that is no longer in use. Sinopia was originally mined near the city of Sinope in Asia Minor. It was used as a pigment from ancient times until the Renaissance. Sinopia was primarily used for sketches and underdrawings. It has been replaced by other natural red pigments such as red ocher, Venetian red, Spanish red and terra rosa.

Synonyms and Related Terms

red iron oxide; sinopia (Esp.), Fr.; sinpia (Port.); sinope; sinopie; sinopis; sinoper; red ocher; red ochre


  • M. Doerner, M. Doerner, The Materials of the Artist, Harcourt, Brace & Co., 1934
  • Ralph Mayer, Ralph Mayer, A Dictionary of Art Terms and Techniques, Harper and Row Publishers, New York, 1969 (also 1945 printing)
  • R.D. Harley, R.D. Harley, Artists' Pigments c. 1600-1835, Butterworth Scientific, London, 1982

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